THE Philippine Coast Guard District Central Visayas (PCG 7) continues its search and rescue (SAR) operation for a crew member of a tugboat that sank after it was hit by the cargo ship it was towing last Friday, March 10, 2023.

The allision took place at the Colorado Shipyard in the waters of Consolacion in northern Cebu.

An allision refers to the striking of a vessel against a fixed object.

The PCG identified the missing person as Joseph Villamor of mtug Nagasaka, which, at the time, was towing lct Jana Juliana.

It was learned that the cargo ship’s bow hit the tugboat, causing it to sink 200 yards off the southern part of the shipyard.

Based on the update given by PCG 7 Ltjg. Stephen Pagcaliwagan on Saturday, March 11, they still have to find or recover the body of Villamor, who went missing after he jumped overboard while the tugboat was sinking.

The PCG 7 first received the report of the allision at 3 p.m. on Friday.

It immediately dispatched rigid hull boats with two ship divers to conduct surface and underwater SAR.

Pagcaliwagan said there was no sign of an oil spill in the scene of the sinking even though the tugboat was carrying more than 60 liters of diesel oil, based on the inspection of members of the CG Sub-Station Mandaue and the Marine Environmental Protection Unit in Central Visayas.

The PCG 7 has recommended to the captains of both vessels to file marine protests.

Japanese in Mindoro

Also on Saturday, the PCG rescued five Japanese crew members on board mv Catriona after they encountered a maritime accident in the waters off Navotas, Calapan in Oriental Mindoro at 6:30 a.m.

The rescued crew members were identified as Itsuo Tamura, 86; Hiromu Nishida, 83; Hamagato Tsukasa, 80; Osamu Kawakami, 74; and Hata Isamu, 74.

They were able to notify the PCG that their vessel had sustained damage and was listing.

The PCG Command Center coordinated with the CG District Southern Tagalog and the PCG Station Oriental Mindoro to conduct a SAR operation.

According to the crew members, they were traveling from Japan to Davao City when the incident occurred.

The SAR team performed a medical checkup on the rescued individuals and found them to be in relatively good physical condition. / HBT, TPT