16 crew of troubled tanker rescued
BY MAHATMA RANDY V. DATU
The Manila Times
SUBIC BAY FREEPORT: Sixteen crew members who abandoned the MT King Rich at sea off ILOCOS NORTE AFTER THE SIERRA Leone-flagged tanker developed engine trouble safely arrived on Sunday, November 19, at Subic. A report from the Philippine Coast Guard-Zambales said the 16 crew members and officers of the tanker used a life raft after leaving their ship which experienced engine problems on Saturday afternoon. The ship’s skipper, Capt. Van Swandi, said that their ship’s propeller shaft broke down and water started to flood the engine room. The crew started to pump the water out but to no avail. After assessing the danger they were faced with, Swandi ordered the crew to “abandon ship” and board a life raft. The life raft was seen and rescued by the crew of the MV Sheng An, a Hong Kong-flagged vessel, while sailing 81 nautical miles northwest off Badoc Island, Ilocos Norte en route to Subic port. MV Sheng An Capt. Zhang Xiayo coordinated the rescue to PCG-Zambales which provided assistance to crews of the tanker. The tanker is said to be still at sea while being monitored by the PCG. Meanwhile, for the act of heroism in rescuing the crew of the distressed ship, the PCG awarded a certificate of recognition to the crew and officers of the MV Sheng An.