Friday, June 26, 2009

Navy Rescues Indon Tugboat

Philippine Navy Ship BRP Rizal (PS-74) rescued an Indonesian tugboat 3.2 nautical miles northeast off Silaqui Island, Bolinao, Pangasinan Friday, 19 June 2009. PS-74 that participated in the naval exercise MALPHI-LAUT ’09 between the Philippine and Malaysian navies in La Union, was immediately dispatched around 12:50 pm by Task Group 10.2 to conduct search and rescue operations after receiving a distress signal from the tugboat.

Assisting PS-74 was a team of Naval Special Operations Unit (NAVSOU) and Navy Aircraft PNI-312 earlier dispatched to conduct aerial search. PS-74 arrived in the vicinity at 4:00 in the afternoon and rescued the tugboat after it was stranded in the island due to heavy weather and poor visibility because of typhoon “Limfa”. PS-74 then escorted said tugboat to San Fernando City, La Union.

The tugboat of Indonesian registry identified as M/T Benoa had 10 crew on board and a load of coal. It was on its way to Sual, Pangasinan when her barge parted off due to rough seas. The tugboat is presently moored at Holcim Pier, San Fernando City. Upon arrival to port, personnel from the DOH conducted medical tests to the crew of M/T Benoa for the mandatory A(H1N1) check. Local government officials also received the crew of the tugboat for documentation.

Capt Nodolfo V Tejada, Deputy Commander of the Naval Forces Northern Luzon heads Task Group 10.2 while Lt Oliver Reforba is skipper of PS-74. Capt Mordiono, the skipper of the tugboat paid a courtesy call to the commanding officer of PS-74 to express his heartfelt gratitude. The captain intends to look for and recover the barrage when weather improves.

Through the years, the Philippine Navy has expanded its role to include the conduct of rescue and relief operations, both in land and in sea and during the calamities to suit to the demands of a contemporary Navy.

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