The Western Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, through its Littoral Monitoring Station (LMS) Melville, helped 17 Vietnamese crew members of a vessel that ran aground in Balabac, Palawan Tuesday.
In a statement, WesCom said it received reports of a Vietnamese vessel in the area on December 21. The vessel, M/V Dolphin 15, disclosed that it came from Tacloban and is en route to Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam with 17 crew members.
On the evening of the same day, the crew of the vessel radioed LMS Melville and requested to take shelter and anchor in the area due to worsening weather and sea conditions.
By Monday, LMS Melville sought an update about the condition of the Vietnamese. They said they have repositioned because their anchor was being dragged due to the strong wind and current.
The crew of M/V Dolphin 15 later informed the WesCom that it is awaiting the arrival of its sister company ship M/V Victoria 19 for towing, and that everyone on board are safe.
However, by Tuesday, the crew members told WesCom that they intended to abandon the ship as a safety precaution. They requested for assistance while they are waiting for the arrival of the other ship.
The Philippine authorities then provided food and shelter to the crew members who were identified as the following:
- Dang Van Minh - Ship Captain
- Le Phu Tri
- Truong Ngoc Dieu
- Pham Van Chung
- Nguyen Tat Minh
- Nguyen Van Truong
- Tran Van Ba
- Truong Van Trung
- Nguyen Van Luan
- Bui Nguyen Thanh
- Nguyen Van Tuan
- Pham Van Loi
- Bui Ngoc Long
- Tran Van Ngoc
- Phan Hai Duong
- Nguyen Van Canh
- Pham The Hung
The crew members were likewise provided medical and immigration assistance through the local government of Poblacion in Balabac.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Philippine authorities monitored that the Victoria 19 has already anchored at the vicinity of Matangule Island in Balabac.
"Notwithstanding our duty as protector of the Philippine territory and sovereign rights, your Western Command, as a good neighbor, is ready to provide humanitarian assistance to whoever and whenever it is needed," Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos said.