Boat capsizes in Batanes, 1 missing, 4 rescued
BASCO, BATANES—Four crew members of a cargo ship were rescued on Tuesday night (Dec. 26) when their small boat capsized along the coastal waters of Chanarian village here. A fifth crew member remains missing as of Wednesday (Dec. 27).
The crewmen were belonging to the Erwin Star, a cargo ship that had been waiting to dock at the port of Basco since Tuesday. The crewmen were part of a group that was sent out to buy supplies at the town center while Erwin Star waited for another ship to unload its cargo, said Onesimo Manzo Jr., the ship captain.
At 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday night, Enrique Melad Jr., one of Erwin Star’s owners, alerted the Philippine Coast Guard that the cargo vessel could not account for their five crewmen, prompting the Coast Guard to launch a search mission, said Seaman Second Class (SN2) Mark Kenneth Abas.
They found engine cadet Patrick Donato on top of a capsized fishing boat. Mark Caquioa, the ship’s 23 year-old deck cadet, was found near the beach at the Batanes Resort while the cook, Homer De Sagon, 32, and oiler Andrew Salengua, 21, were rescued in the waters off Chanarian in Basco.
The fifth crewman, Jun Roldan, is still missing.
Although they were instructed to return to the cargo ship at 4 p.m., the crewmen stayed in Basco until the evening and returned in a fishing boat with only two paddles, Manzo said. The small boat capsized less than a kilometer from the port of Basco due to strong waves.
As of posting time, the search continues for Roldan. /jpv
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