FIFTEEN people were rescued from a wooden-hulled vessel that sunk after it caught fire early Tuesday, December 7, off Isabela City, Basilan province.

No identities were available except that they are all crewmen of M/L J Dayang 3, which caught fire around 2:20 a.m. Tuesday, December 7, near Lampinigan Island, according to the report of the Isabela City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO).

Investigation showed that the fire broke due to electric short circuit while M/L J Dayang 3, which was loaded with hardware materials and groceries, was traveling to Bongao, Tawi-Tawi coming from Cawit village, Zamboanga City.

CDRRMO personnel, together with Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and Bureau of Fire Protection (VFP) personnel, immediately launched firefighting and search and rescue (SAR) operations after Lampinigan Village Chief Aksan Hamad reported that a vessel was on fire at sea.

The Isabela CDRRMO reported that all the 15 crewmen of M/L J Dayang 3 were safely rescued and in good physical condition. They were taken to Lampinigan Island and were immediately provided assistance.

The BFP declared fire out around 5:30 a.m. and placed the estimated damage to property at P13.5 million.

No trace of oil spill was found when the Marine Environmental Protection Group-Basilan and PCG inspected the vicinity of the fire scene. (SunStar Zamboanga)