A motorboat ferrying residents of Pag-asa Island, Kalayaan town in the West Philippine Sea was rescued by the Philippine Coast Guard on Saturday after it developed engine trouble and drifted.
Coast Guard District Palawan (CGDP) spokesperson Lt. Commander Christian Jazmin said the vessel ML Hadzraima, carrying around 30 passengers and crew, had drifted off its course and was rescued some nine nautical miles off Royal Captain Shoal.
The vessel reportedly left Puerto Princesa City on July 4 and was en route to Pag-Asa when it encountered engine trouble. He said they received the information about the distressed vessel Friday evening from the radio operator of Kalayaan municipality, identified as Rey Fernando.
“Papunta sila ng Kalayaan dahil mga residente naman sila doon. On their way, nagkaroon ng problem ang makina. Mabuti na lang at agad naireport sa Coast Guard kaya nakaresponde ng mabilis,” Jazmin said.
Fernando had reported that ML Hadzraima first drifted some 36 nautical miles west off Sitio Sicud, Brgy. Candawaga, Rizal municipality before it was carried by the sea current near Royal Captain Shoal.
CGDP commander Commo. Allen Toribio dispatched BRP Sindangan (MRRV 4407) which was conducting maritime patrol in the vicinity of Balabac at that time to do search and rescue (SAR) operations.
Jazmin said ML Hadzraima was being towed by BRP Sindangan to Buliluyan Island in Bataraza as of press time.