15 RORO crew members rescued off Batangas Bay

15 RORO crew members rescued off Batangas Bay
However, 19 crew members of M/V Starlite Atlantic remain missing

MANILA, Philippines – Fifteen crew members have been rescued after their roll-on, roll-off (RORO) ship sank off Batangas Bay on Monday, December 26, due to Typhoon Nina (international name: Nock-ten).

However, 19 crew members of M/V Starlite Atlantic remain missing.

In a statement on Monday night, Starlite Ferries said that the ship sank between Puerto Galera in Oriental Mindoro and Maricaban island in Batangas between 10:20 and 11:30 am after it was buffeted by gale-force winds and huge waves.

Starlite management added that no passengers or cargo were on board when the vessel sank “since it was sheltered in preparation for Typhoon Nina.”

Search and rescue operations by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) are ongoing in the vicinity of Maricaban island, but Starlite Ferries said that “rough seas are hindering these efforts.”

The company said is also coordinating with PCG, Maritime Industry Authority (Marina), Philippine Red Cross, the local governments of Maricaban and Puerto Galera, and Matoco and Ilijan in Batangas for possible rescue of other survivors. Rescue ships are also being carried out in Batangas Bay, it added.

“We are also in close contact with the families of the crew members to apprise them of the rescue operations,” Starlite Ferries continued, adding that it “deeply regrets this untoward incident and will be giving updates as soon as they become available.”

Earlier, the PCG reported that another RORO ship, MV Shuttle Roro 5, sank off the coast of Mabini, Batangas.

The PCG said that two of its are on the way to the said vicinity to verify the situation and assist in operations. – Rappler.com

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