A BOAT captain and his crew of nine people escaped unharmed after they were rescued by the Coast Guard when their tugboat pulling a barge loaded with scrap metal was blown off course by the strong winds of Tropical Storm Vinta and ran aground in Lawis Ledge on Friday.
Commander Jerome Cayabyab of the Philippine Coast Guard-Cebu (PCG-Cebu) said that he received a phone call from Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak at 7 a.m. requesting for a rescue team.
Tumulak was informed about the grounding of the tugboat in Lawis Ledge in Talisay City and in turn informed the Coast Guard of the incident.
Cayabyab said the tugboat was blown off course due to strong winds brought by Tropical Storm “Vinta.”
“The tugboat had 10 crew. No injuries were reported,” said Cayabyab, who said that they immediately responded and sailed to the area and rescued the crew of Many Plus 6 tugboat, which was owned by Ting Guan.
The tugboat was navigated by Captain Win Htut Aung.
In an interview with Cebu Daily News, Tumulak said that he received a call coming from one of the crewmen of the tugboat around 6 a.m. on Friday.
The tugboat left Cagayan de Oro at 6 a.m. on Thursday. And around 6 a.m. of Friday, it ran aground in Lawis Ledge.
“Nibiya sila sa Cagayan wala pa man na raise ang storm signal. So hinay man kaayo ang dagan sa tugboat kay gabira mani siya og murag barge. Naabtan sila sa kusog nga hangin (here in Cebu),” Tumulak said.
(When they left Cagayan de Oro, there was no storm signal yet. The slow moving tugboat, which was pulling a barge loaded with scrap metal, was caught by a strong gust of wind when it reached Cebu [and was pushed to shallower area of Lawis Ledge])
Another tugboat from the same company pulled the grounded vessel to deeper waters and towed it to the Mandaue City port at noon on Friday.