Philippine shipwreck kills man; rescue boat also rescued

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Coast Guard reported yesterday that a cargo ship laden with cement sank overnight in the Philippines, killing the vessel's chief engineer. A passing ship rescued the 19 others, while a coast guard rescue boat itself required rescue in strong waves in the region after getting into difficulties before losing contact.

MV Maria Lourdes, a 639-ton vessel, had been transporting 22,000 bags of cement from Iligan City in Lanao del Norte and was headed towards a town in Occidental Mindoro when the starboard main engine failed. While running on only the port main engine, strong waves battered the ship until shortly after 7:00 p.m. Tuesday night, when she went down at Antique. Chief engineer Alex Tambasin was drowned.

The Coast Guard received word on the emergency at 7:03 p.m. from Candano Shipping Lines. Vessel 3504 was dispatched to aid the stricken ship, but the boat was also troubled by strong waves and eventually contact was lost. A passing ship rescued the survivors from the Maria Lourdes instead.

Vessel 3504's crew were located on Sibay Island by the Philippine Air Force. The seven-man crew had abandoned the boat to rough seas and sought refuge on the island. They were rescued by helicopter on Wednesday morning.