Owner of tugboat that sank off Tayud, Consolacion considers retrieving vessel

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THE owner of a tugboat that sank in waters off Barangay Tayud, Consolacion, Cebu during the onslaught of Typhoon Odette (Rai) on the evening of Thursday, December 16, 2021 has considered recovering the sea vessel.

Captain Alvin Dagalea, commander of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Cebu, said on Thursday, December 30 that the owner of mv Ida plans to hire a private firm that will conduct the salvage operation, a process of recovering a ship and its cargo after a shipwreck or other maritime casualty.

Dagalea said during his talk with the owner on December 28, the latter will look for an accredited salvor, a person or entity engaged in the business of salvaging vessels.

Salvaging mv Ida will involve pulling the vessel from the seabed and possibly refloating it.

Three of the six crew members of mv Ida have been retrieved from the tugboat. They are Captain Luisito Roble, chief engineer Arthur Saavedra and crew member Roniel Fernandez.

The three remaining crew members have been stuck in the tugboat's pilothouse, the room from which the tugboat can be commanded, for 14 days already.

Dagalea said divers from PCG have had a hard time in recovering the three remaining crew members because the bridge is buried in the muddy seabed, which is 15 to 20 meters from the surface of the water.

"The mud is really thick," he said in Cebuano in a phone interview.

The PCG official said mv Ida sank in a vertical position.

During low tide, only a portion of the marine vessel's rear is visible.

Mv Ida took shelter in the anchorage area in the Tayud waters when Typhoon Odette sank it.

As to the other ill-fated boat mv Tug Strong Trinity, Dagalea said there is no progress yet.

Both the tugboat and its 11 crew members have been missing since December 17.

An earlier report stated that the boat's owner conducted an aerial survey above the coast of Naga, San Fernando, Carcar and to the adjacent part of Bohol Island. The search found an oil spill near the boat's last location.

On December 27, the PCG divers and missing crew members' relatives aboard mv Tug Strong Desire started their search in the Naga sea area. But this search was still futile. (KAL)

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