PCG: 18 seafarers survived while another died in a ship agrounding incident in Antique yesterday morning.
The casualty was identified as German Atay, quartermaster of M/Tug Benny.
Investigation revealed that M/Tug Benny and its towing barge Brian took shelter at the vicinity waters of Barangay Balud, Tobias, Antique as Tropical Depression Seniang battered the Visayas region. Both vessels where drifted, however, by strong winds and big waves towards the shoreline of said barangay.
12 crew members of Barge Brian were able to swim towards the shoreline while the remaining seven crew of M/Tug Benny transferred to the barge waiting for rescue.
Upon receiving a VHF call from barge master Dillio S. Rubite, the personnel of Coast Guard Station (CGS) San Jose de Buenavista immediately proceeded at the area to conduct rescue operation. The SAR team found the vessels agrounded approximately 50 meters off the shoreline and was 25 meters apart.
The seven crew who were left onboard Barge Brian were rescued and were brought to the nearest medical facility. Atay did not make it, however.
Barge Brian was loaded with 6,705 metric tons of coal and was towing M/Tug Benny from Semirara Island to Toledo, Cebu when the incident occurred.