LEFT PHOTO: CGS Balabac personnel during the rescue. RIGHT PHOTO: American boat captain David Alan Gerdin, 76, and his companion, Australian national David Edward Barr, 73, on the sailboat. (Photos from CGS Balabac)
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A sailboat manned by two foreign nationals ran aground off a coastal village in Balabac on June 23, after its captain reportedly fell asleep during the journey.

Coast Guard authorities in Balabac said the seacraft was sailing from Siquijor and was en route to Kudat, Malaysia when it ran aground near Sitio Banglos, Barangay Indalawan, Balabac.

The CGS Balabac that rescued the pair identified them as American boat captain David Alan Gerdin, 76, and his companion, Australian national David Edward Barr, 73.

The Marine Environmental Group (MEPGru) team based in Balabac said there was no oil spill that resulted from the incident. However, further monitoring and assessment will be performed by the station and the municipal government.

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American David Alan Gerdin and Australian David Edward Barr are shown in this photo while being assisted by personnel of CGS Balabac. (Photo from CGS Balabac)
Video of the rescue from CGS Balabac.

The sailboat was towed from Indalawan to the nearest shore in Balabac the next day, June 24. Gerdin and Barr were found to be in good physical condition after undergoing a medical check-up.

Gerdin, a former U.S. Marines staff sergeant, extended his gratitude to the personnel of the PCG headed in Palawan by Commo. Rommel Supangan.

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has been with Palawan News since January 2019. She is its managing editor, overseeing and coordinating day-to-day editorial activities. Her writing interests are politics and governance, health, defense, investigative journalism, civic journalism, and the environment.