Huge waves force 22 North Koreans to abandon ship in Claveria, Cagayan

January 2, 2010 1:10 am 

MANILA, Jan.1 –Twenty-two North Koreans abandoned their cargo vessel off the waters of Cagayan after the ship tilted and its engine conked out due to huge waves on New Year's Day.

Admiral Wilfredo Tamayo, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) commandant, said the M/V Nam Yang 8, a North Korean-registered cargo ship, went adrift off Claveria, Cagayan and as of 12 noon Friday, it listed 46 degrees to its left side and posed danger to mariners.

Reports reaching the PCG headquarters in Manila said that all the 22 crew members, onboard their liferaft, managed to beach to the shoreline of Barangay Taggat, Claveria, Cagayan at about 6:30 a.m. Friday.

Lieutenant Commander Armand Balilo, PCG spokesman, said M/V Nam Yang 8 cargo ship was reported in distress 11 nautical miles off Lacaylacay Point, Claveria, Cagayan.

The vessel, a general cargo vessel, with 22 crew on board departed its anchorage area in Aparri, Cagayan at 4:45 p.m. Thursday, loaded with 2,800 metric tons of iron sand enroute to China.

According to vessel skipper, identified as a certain Nr. Ung, the vessel encountered big waves at about 3 a.m. Friday at the vicinity of Claveria, Cagayan that caused the sand cargo to portside.

Later, the vessel's main engine conked out. The ship's imbalance and deranged main engine made the master to decide to abandon the ship.

All were in good health except for chiefmate Jon Ho Chol, who sustained injuries and was brought top nearby hospital for treatment.

The MV Nam Yang 8, without crew onboard, remained drifting towards Western Cagayan. The ship agent has been advised to make necessary and immediate coordination for towing of the vessel to nearest port. (PNA) RMA/JES

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