Philippine Coast Guard Forms Human Chain to Rescue Stranded Crew

rescue from grounded bulker
Mini dry bulker was caught in high seas and washed ashore in the western Philippines (PCG photos)

Published Feb 28, 2023 3:26 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Philippine Coast Guard is reporting that it was able to rescue 14 crewmembers from a grounded dry mini bulker that had gone aground near Lubang Island in the western Philippines south of Manila. The crew had been stuck aboard the vessel due to high seas which prevented earlier rescue attempts.

According to the report from the Coast Guard, the small ship, the Manfel V, was operating carrying cargo inter-island. The vessel is operated by the Manfel Cargo Shipping which was established in 2015 in the Philippines to provide local cargo services.

The Manfel V departed Subic City north of Manila going south to Bauan near the city of Batangas in the central Philippines. On February 25, the captain reported that the 223-foot vessel was were experiencing engine troubles. They attempted to maneuver the vessel but she was drifting.

After drifting overnight the vessel became caught in the strong waves and was driven into the surf approximately 360 feet from a rural area known as Barangay Maligaya near Manila Bay. Due to the remote area and the high surf, the SAR teams sent to the rescue were unable to access the vessel on February 26.


Safety line and human chain were used to bring the crew to shore (PCG)


The station commander for the provincial coast guard said they were unable to get close to the ship due to the large waves. However, on Monday morning, February 27, nearly a day after the vessel had grounded he reported that the waves calmed down. They were able to string a rescue line and form a human chain to assist the 14 crewmembers to shore.

Photos show the crew going over the side of the vessel on a ladder and wadding through the surf with the line and assistance from the Coast Guard. They are reporting that all the crewmembers were safely brought to shore and received health checks and were taken to a nearby town.

The Coast Guard reports they are continuing to monitor the vessel with has more than 1,900 liters of fuel in its tanks. They were also planning to inspect the hull for breaches or signs of damage that could lead to an oil spill.