One Dead, 2 Injured Crew Airlifted from Sunken Vessel in Pangasinan
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Monday was placed on alert due to an oil spill which was spotted near the area of the ill-fated Panamanian vessel that sank along the vicinity off Cape Bolinao in Pangasinan.
The Coast Guard Action Center (CGAC) in Manila said that based on the aerial reconnaissance operations conducted by the the PCG-1636 chopper under the Coast Guard Aviation Group (CGAG), an oil spill was spotted 10 nautical miles Northwest of Bolinao, were the M/V Harita Bauxite reportedly sank early morning of February 17.
PCG Northeastern Luzon chief Captain Pablo Gonzales said that oil spill response team from the Coast Guard District Northwestern Luzon have been alerted of the oil spill report and making the necessary preparations for oil spill containement operations.
Around 9:20 a.m. of February 17 when M/V Jin Cheng, a Chinese bulk carrier transiting Philippine waters reported that they rescued 10 Burmese national onboard two life rafts at approximately 22 nautical miles off Cape Bolinao.
The Panamanian-flagged cargo vessel supposedly was bound to Ningbo, China from Obi, Indonesia when it encountered engine trouble and experienced rolling that eventually led to the sinking of the said vessel at approximately 12 nautical miles from the shoreline of Bolinao.
The agency already coordinated with the local government of Bolinao for search and rescue operations and dispatched two rescue boats to the area for the 10 other missing crew.
Two crew members of the ill-fated Harita Bauxite, that sank off the waters of Bolinao, Pangasinan last Sunday, were airlifted from the vessel and immediately brought to Lorma Hospital in San Fernando, La Union.
PCG Helo 1636 airlifted Ordinary Seaman Thant Zin Moe, 29, who suffered an injury, and Deck Fitter Cho Aye, 52. Both of the injured crew are identified to be Myanmar nationals.
Meanwhile, the fatality identified as Chief Cook Myint Aung, 54, along with the seven surviving crew, were transferred onboard DF-325.
The remaining seven survivors were in good physical condition namely: Chief Officer Kyi Win (56 y.o.), Second Engineer Aung Kyaw Khine (38 y.o.), Third Officer Khin Macmg Win (34 y.o.), Oiler Auwg San Win (38 y.o.), Able Seaman Aung Thu Nyein (29 y.o.), Able Seaman Win Zam (40 y.o.) and Ordinary Seaman Win Nin Thein (30 y.o.).
The Search and rescue team departed the rendezvous area enroute to Sual Fish Port in Pangasinan.
The Provincial Health Office, Red Cross Pangasinan Chapter and Sual Rescue Team immediately conducted quarantine and medical check-up on the seven survivors, while the cadaver of Myint Aung was brought to De Guzman Funeral Parlor in Alaminos City, Pangasinan.
The survivors were brought to Coast Guard Station Sual while awaiting the arrival of the immigration officer for proper disposition. Subsequently, they were escorted by the personnel of CGS Sual to Coast Guard District Northwestern Luzon (CGDNWLZN) for processing by the immigration personnel and Myanmar officials upon their arrival in Poro Point, La Union.
PCG Helo 1636 arrived at the CGDNWLZN after conducting aerial search for the missing crew members of the sunken MV Harita Bauxite, but yielded negative results. The negative sighting was corroborated by the 20 fishing boats present in the vicinity.
Further, the aerial survey spotted a trace of oil spill of approximately 2-3 nautical miles length at the northwest direction of the incident area and estimated to be 10-12 nautical miles from the shoreline moving sea ward.
CGDNWLZN personnel are now preparing for an Oil Spill Contingency Planning. It likewise alerted the Marine Environmental Protection Unit (MEPU) and Coast Guard Sual to monitor the shorelines of Boliano for possible presence of oil spill and deploy oil spill boom as necessary.
Meanwhile, latest medical reports on the two injured crew of MV Harita Bauxite revealed the following: Zin Moe remains conscious, coherent with stable vital signs with deep open wound curvilinear about 7 to 8 cm on the inferior 1/3 right lateral leg and debridement of the right leg wound was done. Cho Aye was also conscious, coherent and with stable vital signs and obtained multiple abrasions on his face and body, right hand swelling left wrist pain, pain in the ears, pain on right lower extremities and right lower rib pain. X-ray was done and he is for possible casting of hand due to the dislocation.
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