Around 108 crewmen and passengers of MV Milagrosa J-3 were rescued Saturday off Banda Point, Bisucay Island in Cuyo municipality where it ran aground, an official of the Coast Guard District Palawan (CGDP) said.
They were rescued by the crewmen of MRRV 4407 (BRP Sindangan).
Lieutenant Commander Christian S. Jazmin, CGDP spokesperson, said the passenger vessel skippered by Captain Nelson Ortaliz ran aground around 11 p.m. on March 1 after leaving the Cuyo Port en route to Iloilo City.
Ortaliz allegedly narrated that while they were sailing near Bisucay Island, they encountered strong currents and winds that caused their vessel to meander in shallow waters.
“Kanina po, mga 1:49 a.m. March 2, while en route sa Iloilo, papuntang Iloilo ‘yong MV Milagrosa J-3 nag-ran aground siya sa vicinity ng Bisucay Island, Cuyo. Accordingly, nag-depart siya ng Cuyo at around 11 p.m. noong gabi ng March 1. According sa kapitan, dahil sa lakas ng hangin, na-drift sila papunta sa shallow water in the vicinity of Bisucay Island,” Jazmin said.
Jazmin said the vessel was drifted to an area that is just 221 yards from Bisucay Island after leaving the pier of Cuyo.
“Yong mga passengers at crew ay nailipat na as of now sa MRRV 4407 (BRP Sindangan) at nandoon na po sila sa Cuyo Port na kung saan karamihan ay nagsi-uwian na. However, meron pa rin natira na 25 na naghihintay doon para sa kanilang next na sasakyan papuntang Iloilo. Lahat ng passenger are in good physical condition,” he said.
He said as of 4:05 p.m. on March 2, Ortaliz and his crew were also able to extricate the vessel from the area.
Jazmin warned sailing vessels and motorboats to be careful at sea because of the prevailing amihan that brings strong winds and waves.