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95 passengers of distressed vessel rescued in Northern Samar

By Sarwell Meniano

TACLOBAN CITY – The 95 passengers of the distressed MV Reina Hosanna that ran aground in Capul, Northern Samar, left the island Tuesday, two days after the incident.

The passengers were transported to the mainland of Northern Samar around 1 p.m. using a local government-owned sea vessel, said Jennel Calamay-Abbang, head of the Capul municipal disaster risk reduction and management office.

MV Reina Hosanna encountered an engine failure on its way to Allen, Northern Samar from Matnog, Sorsogon, and ran aground on the shoreline of Barangay 1 in Capul town around 9 p.m. on Feb. 11 due to strong wind and currents.

Another vessel, MV Reina Immaculada, tried to tow the vessel but failed when the mooring line tore during the operation.

The stranded passengers took shelter at the town’s gymnasium, designated as an evacuation center while waiting for their retrieved luggage.

“The 28 crew members, including the ship captain, remained in our evacuation center to help secure rolling cargo and the ship,” Abbang said in a phone interview.

Montenegro Shipping Lines Inc., the roll-on, roll-off vessel operator, provided meals to the stranded passengers, who also received assistance from the local government and the Department of Social Welfare and Development, she said.

The distressed vessel also carried 16 light cars, two small trucks, a trailer, and eight 10-wheel trucks from Matnog, Sorsogon.

There was no reported water ingress into the vessel and all crew members were in good condition, according to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

Personnel from PCG, local police, fire officers and local emergency responders safely rescued all the passengers using water rafts.

Earlier, the PCG reported that the vessel had 71 passengers, but Abbang said the verified number is higher since others were not in the passenger manifest. (PNA)

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