Barge runs aground off Antique | Inquirer News

Barge runs aground off Antique

/ 04:18 PM July 03, 2015

ILOILO CITY—Big and strong waves have forced a barge to run aground in Antique and prevented several small vessels in Bohol and Cebu from sailing, affecting at least 1,600 passengers.

Rough seas hampered the rescue operation for seven fishermen who went missing after their fishing boat reportedly capsized in the waters between Bantayan Islands in Cebu and Gigantes Group of Islands in Iloilo.

All 30 persons on board, including two crew members and 28 workers of barge Cagayan, safely disembarked from the vessel that ran aground off the shores of Bugasong town in Antique on Thursday evening, according to a report from the Philippine Coast Guard.


The barge is operated by David M. Consunji Construction Equipment Resources Inc.


It was already half submerged at the shoreline of Bugasong as of early afternoon on Friday, according to Ensign Myreen Light Reginio, Coast Guard San Jose, Antique, station commander.

The barge carrying construction materials left Semirara Island in Caluya town in Antique on June 30 and unloaded its cargo at Barangay Sabang in Bugasong the next day. The unloading operations were, however, suspended due to big waves and heavy rains, according to the Coast Guard report.

The barge, towed by tugboat Angelique, attempted to pull out from Sabang about 4 p.m. on Thursday for a better position but drifted to the shoreline after being hit by big waves.

In Cebu, the Coast Guard could not send rescue boats to look for the seven fishermen whose boat reportedly capsized on Thursday afternoon due to rough seas.

Cebu Coast Guard Station Commander Weniel Azcuna said they sent radio communications to several vessels passing in the area in the hope that the fishermen would be rescued.

He said vessels with gross tonnage of less than 250 in different Cebu ports were not allowed to sail due to the rough sea condition, which affected 773 passengers.


PO2 Michael Forrosuelo of Madridejos Police Station said the Bantay Dagat team of the town could not also sail because of the strong waves.

Emie Gabito, former councilor of Madridejos town on Bantayan Island, said fishing boat Inday Sweet capsized at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday because of strong waves.

Seven fishermen were heading home on board their fishing boat in Negros Occidental after they went fishing in the Masbate area.

Only four of the seven fishermen were identified. They were skipper Johnrey Vergara, and crewmen Antic Celeste, Gerry Bangalisan and Norberto Patriarca. The three others were only identified as Jomar, Abel and Jimbol.

Gabito said a former member of her staff, Conie Batuigas, a cousin of Bangalisan, contacted her to report the incident.

Gabito said one of the crew members was still able to contact a relative after the boat capsized and revealed they were clinging on the boat waiting for rescue.

Gabito said the boat owner, Ana Mae Claro, sent boats in the area to rescue the seven fishermen on Friday afternoon.

In Bohol, at least 847 passengers were stranded after the Philippine Coast Guard in Bohol stopped at least six ships from sailing due to big waves spawned by Tropical Storm “Egay.”

At least 200 of these passengers were bound for Cagayan de Oro, 14 for Bato in Leyte, 60 for Cebu and 567 for Cebu, Dumaguete and Cagayan De Oro City.

Lt. Commander Benjie Salmorin Quinisio of the Philippine Coast Guard in Bohol said that while Egay was spotted in Luzon, Bohol and other provinces in Central Visayas still experienced strong waves and winds.

“We are affected by the gale warning signal even if Tropical Storm Egay was in the north. We still experience strong winds and big waves,” he said.

Among those affected was Lolita Marata, 60, who was from Lopez Jaena, Misamis Oriental.

She was supposed to go to Cebu to visit her daughter on board the Lite Shipping from Plaridel bound for Cebu via Tagbilaran.

The boat arrived at the Tagbilaran Pier at 10 p.m. but was not allowed to leave for Cebu at midnight due to the rough sea condition.

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Marata and other passengers still wait at the Tagbilaran port. With Leo Udtohan and Jhunnex Napallacan

TAGS: antique, Barge

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