(2nd Update) One dead, 16 rescued as cargo vessel sinks in Batanes

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Nov 26 2008 10:14 AM | Updated as of Nov 27 2008 08:28 AM

Sixteen crewmen were rescued off the coastal waters of Batanes nearly a day after strong waves sank their cargo ship, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said Wednesday.

Rescued by several responding ships were Mark Jason 1 crewmen Captain Tomas Hilario, Melvin Evangelista, Mark Rigonan, Nestor Sumocol, Sr., Nestor Sumocol Jr., Renan Dapitan, Rixie Rabaula, Alejandro Sinagguti, Ryan Geronimo, Jacky Gan, Mark John Paisis, Dante Resuma, Ryan Mijares, Jefrey Bartilad, Larry Sacedon and Galileo Jaug.

One of the survivors, Sumocol, was reportedly injured from a shark bite.

Rescue teams also recovered one dead body. Three other crew members remained missing as of posting time.

The Mark Jason 1 was en route to the northernmost island of Batanes when it capsized Wednesday morning, the PCG operations center in Manila reported.

The cargo ship was carrying aggregate and construction equipment for an airport project in Basco, Batanes when it was battered by strong waves near the Sabtang Island, Batanes Group of Islands.

The PCG has already coordinated with the Philippine Navy, Philippine Air Force and local government units for available assets to join the search and rescue operations.

The Coast Guard also launched its Islander 684 to conduct air surveillance and find the remaining crewmen.