PCG hails Chinese sailors for rescuing 16 foreign oil tanker crew
SUBIC BAY FREEPORT—Despite the rising tension between the Philippines and China over territorial disputes in the West Philippine Sea, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) recognized the heroism of the mostly Chinese crew of a foreign vessel on Sunday.
MV Sheng An, a Hong Kong-flagged cargo vessel, arrived here with the 16 rescued foreign crew members of a chemical tanker, which encountered engine trouble on Nov. 18 off Badoc Island in Ilocos Norte.
According to cargo ship captain Zhang Xiayo, he and his 17 crew members were on their way to Subic Bay when he received a radio message from the distressed chemical tanker MT King Rich asking for rescue.
Zhang told the PCG that all 16 crew members of MT King Rich were about to abandon the vessel as the engine room was already flooded.
Zhang immediately activated emergency procedures to rescue the crew of the Sierra Leone-flagged tanker and notified the Philippine Coast Guard by satellite phone.
When the Hong Kong ship arrived near the target location, the crew of the distressed tanker was still on board.
Zhang said the crew of the chemical tanker immediately boarded life rafts when they saw that help was on the way.