‘Big object,’ possibly missing vessel, seen off Batangas
SAN PEDRO CITY—The government’s mapping agency traced a large object in the waters off Tingloy town in Batangas province, which authorities said may possibly be the wreck of MV Starlight Atlantic that sank at the height of Typhoon “Nina” (international name: Nock-Ten) last month.
Glenn Tabanao, a representative of the shipping company, said sonar scanning by the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority traced the object between 60 and 100 meters deep in the waters near Maricaban Island in Tingloy.
The roll on, roll off (Ro-Ro) vessel was battered by strong wind and waves on Dec. 26 while it was trying to reposition. The vessel carried 33 people.
Fourteen crew members were rescued but one, cabin crew Lyca Banaynal, died. Eighteen more remained missing.
Survivors said waves, 6 to 8 meters high, pounded the ship before it sank.
The vessel’s owner had coordinated the search with the Philippine Navy and hired private helicopters to help find the crew members.
Tabanao, in a telephone interview on Tuesday, said technical divers would comb the area to confirm whether the object was the shipwreck.
In an earlier interview, he said it was possible that the remaining crew members had been trapped inside the sunken vessel. —MARICAR CINCO
Click here for more weather related news.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.