Coastguardsman promoted for rescue of over 60 in Cebu boat mishap
MANILA, Philippines — The off-duty personnel of the Philippine Coast Guard who helped rescue the passengers and crew of the fastcraft that capsized last week in Cebu would get promoted.
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Tuesday said that Petty Officer Third Class (PO3) Ralph Barajan will be promoted to PO2 and will be eligible for commissionship to become a Coast Guard officer.
“[This is] as recognition for his exemplary attitude and courageous act to ensure the safety of lives despite being off-duty when the maritime incident occurred,” PCG Commandant Vice Admiral Joel Garcia said in a statement.
Last Nov. 7, the MV Siargao Princess, which carried over 60 persons, capsized some three to five nautical miles off the coast of Sibonga town, some 53 kilometers south of Cebu City, due to strong waves.
According to the PCG, Barajan was on board the fastcraft bound for Southern Cebu when he noticed the “worsening condition” of the vessel due to strong waves.
Barajan then coordinated with the vessel’s captain and took the initiative to gather the ship and crew.
After securing life jackets for the children, Barajan accounted for everyone and initiated the group to jump off the sinking vessel.
All 62 passengers of the MV Siargao Princess were rescued, the PCG said.
The PCG Commandant said that Barajan “lived up PCG’s core values of professionalism, commitment, and gallantry.”
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