Missing tugboat crew in Bataan found dead

The Bataan Maritime Police Station reported on Friday the retrieval of the body of the missing crew of a tugboat that sank in the waters of this town at the height of tropical storm Jolina Wednesday night.

Executive Master Sergeant Marlon M. Barnachea said the body of Peter Bilocura, 41, of Sambuan, Cebu, was found around 6:30 a.m. Friday at the shoreline of Sitio Pitas, Barangay Ipag here where the tugboat and a barge were carried by strong waves.

He said eight of the nine crewmembers of the tugboat and eight from the barge were rescued by combined elements of the Bataan Maritime Police, Philippine Coast Guard, and personnel from Barangay Ipag and the Mariveles local government unit.

Earlier, Barnachea said they received a call from Mayor Jocelyn Castañeda that a tugboat capsized in Barangay Ipag.

He said they coordinated with officials of Barangay Ipag and were informed of barangay chairperson Rod Luyo of what happened.

At that time, the tugboat was towing the barge and maneuvering to find a safe place to take shelter due to the incoming typhoon. But due to the strong waves, the rope was accidentally cut that made the barge drift to the shoreline while the tugboat sank after continuously being hit by strong waves and wind, the report showed.

On Wednesday night, Barnachea said they already conducted search and rescue operations but were unable to locate the missing crew due to strong current.

He said they scoured the surrounding areas and continued the search on Thursday.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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