[Brief] Philippine search and rescue teams are looking for five missing members of the crew of the cargo vessel Virginia 1, which caught fire and sank Tuesday at the entrance to Manila Bay.
The Virginia had just departed Manila on a voyage to Palawan when a fire broke out in the purser’s cabin. Attempts to fight the blaze proved unsuccessful, and the master ordered abandon ship roughly one hour after the fire was reported.
Six of the eleven crew abandoned ship into a liferaft. However, after they had transferred off the vessel, the raft capsized in high waves, and the men clung to its upturned sides. Four crewmembers – master Ronald Garcia, chief engineer Luis Madla, purser Jun-Jun Manalo and cook Ian Badayos – survived and were rescued by a fishing vessel. Quartermaster Angelo Gambol was rescued separately and taken safely ashore.
Crewmember Sonny Ruado succumbed to exhaustion during the ordeal on the liferaft. The five missing crewmembers have been identified as Cilidonio Magbanua, 54; Edwin Inajenes, 33; Dennis Gadon, 37; Virgilio Macaraeg, 54; and Ramilo Fetalbero.
The Virginia 1 is not listed in public records (excepting a 1977-built cargo ship that was reported broken up in 2000).
This article has been updated to reflect the latest available information from the Philippine Coast Guard.