‘Agaton’ forces Chinese ship to make emergency docking in Northern Samar
Editor’ Note: We are reposting this article to correct the photo credit. The photo was taken by freelance photographer Nino Anthony Valenzuela, not by Rachel Arnaiz as earlier put. Our apologies to Mr. Valenzuela.
CATARMAN, Northern Samar — A Chinese-registered cargo vessel with nine foreigners aboard made an emergency docking near the shoreline off Barangay Poblacion 2, Pambujan town in Northern Samar, on Tuesday, due to rough seas caused by Tropical Depression “Agaton.”
The distress call was received by the Pambujan Municipal Police Station at 12:30 p.m., according to Supt. Felix Diloy, chief of the Northern Samar Provincial Police Office.
The ship, carrying a Chinese flag, was later seen about 300 meters from the town’s shorelines.
It bore the name Jin Ming No. 16, with nine people aboard.
Diloy identified eight of the nine crew members based on their identification cards as Hans Febie, Xu xi, Yin Yui Q Jin, Lu Wei Long, Chen Xin Chuen, Lun Xi Long, Wunens Jin, and Ho Sai Cheong.
Diloy said he also ordered a thorough investigation on the foreigner.
Investigators learned that the vessel left China on Dec. 12 and was heading for Chile when they encountered the bad weather due to Agaton.
They made a distress call and later coordinated with the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) and the Philippine Coast Guard personnel in Northern Samar, according to the report of Pambujan police.
After assessing the safety of the waters, the Coast Guard personnel started rescuing the passengers from the vessel by 6 p.m.
Cmdr. Lawrence Roque, Coast Guard Eastern Visayas spokesman, said the crew members asked that they be taken out of the vessel because they were tired from the continued hammering of the strong waves.
In less than an hour, all nine crew members were rescued from the vessel and taken to the rural health unit for medical checkup.
They were then moved to the residence of Mayor Felipe Sosing. –With a report from Robert Dejon
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