ELEVEN crew members of a dredger barge from Albuera Leyte were rescued after it sank in Ajouan Island in Barangay Cartagena, Sipalay City, Negros Occidental Wednesday morning, December 12.
Lieutenant Commander Lodovico Librilla Jr., head of Philippine Coast Guard (PCG)-Negros Occidental, has yet to provide the names of the crew members.
Librilla said two barges left Albuera, Leyte at 7 p.m. on December 9. Both were initially towed by a tugboat but due to its heavy weight, the crew members requested for another tugboat boarded by 11 persons for assistance.
The barges were supposed to go to Antique but one of which sank when huge waves hit it when they reached the said area at 9 a.m.
The crew members of PMI-16 were rescued by the members of tugboat IMC-2. All of them are safe and unharmed.
Librilla said the 11 crew members of PMI-16 and 11 members of tugboat IMC-2 are temporarily accommodated at Campomanes Bay while the investigation is ongoing.
The other barge proceeded to Antique as scheduled.
Librilla said they will call the office of the sunken barge to meet them to discuss the incident and to determine its cause.
They have already detected that something is wrong with the barge when they left Leyte but they cannot tell what it was, Librilla said.
Probably the barge has a hole which caused the flooding. But, we cannot yet tell the exact reason until the result of the investigation comes out, he added.
Librilla said the barge sank 67 meters under the sea.
There is nothing to worry because the barge has no machine, and it does not produce oil, he said.
But PCG personnel will still have to check the sunken barge if needed and if it’s already safe, he added. (GYM)