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Dumaguete City, PhilippinesMonday, December 19, 2011
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34 people rescued
from grounded ship

The Philippine Coast Guard in Dumaguete City and other volunteer groups rescued 34 people, including a one-year old child, from a cargo ship that ran aground early Saturday as Tropical Storm Sendong unleashed its fury as it hit Dumaguete City and other parts of Negros Oriental.

No casualties have been reported so far.

The vessel, M/V Ever Transport II of Kheri Lines, Inc. ran aground along the shores of Barangay Tinago and Sitio Canday-ong, Barangay Calindagan in Dumaguete, near the overflowing Banica River, at around 6:30 a.m. Saturday, Lt. Commander Agapito Bibat, commander of the Dumaguete Coast Guard Station, said.

It had initially docked at the Dumaguete Port Thursday to pick up and load a shipment of beer. The Coast Guard, however, had denied departure to all types of sea vessels after the weather bureau, PAG-ASA, hoisted Storm Signal No. 2 over southern Negros Oriental.

At dawn Saturday, as Sendong's heavy rains and strong winds intensified in Dumaguete and other parts of the province, the M/V Ever Transport II pulled out of the port to seek cover elsewhere, Bibat said.

Bibat led Coast Guard personnel, with the Negros Oriental Search and Rescue, SAR teams of the Bureau of Fire Protection and the 204th and 211th Coast Guard Auxiliary Squadrons in rescue operations.

Soaking wet passengers disembarked and waded to shore. The rescue efforts ended at 10:30 a.m. Friday.

All 34 passengers are temporarily sheltered at the Calindagan barangay hall.

The passengers, crew members and their families on the cargo ship came from Cagayan de Oro en route to Dumaguete, Bibat said.

Another ship of Aleson Shipping Lines also pulled out from the Dumaguete port and sought cover in Bacong town, where it was reported to be adrift at around 7 a.m. Friday.*JFP



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