Thursday, January 17, 2008

Two Crew Members Rescued From Shipwreck In Philippine Waters

Two crew members who survived a shipwreck in Philippine waters are receiving treatment for hypothermia at the Pingtung Christian Hospital, according to the National Rescue Command Center under the Cabinet. Labrabor Melvin, 32, and Capiz Gregorio, 31, are the only known survivors from the ill-fated cargo ship Ho Feng No. 7. The other 17 crew members are still missing. The Taipei-based rescue command center dispatched three helicopters from southern Taiwan for the humanitarian mission after the Philippine sea rescue authorities requested help through the Hong Kong Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Center. The two Filipino sailors were pulled from the sea by crew members of another cargo ship passing through the wreckage site. The Taiwanese airborne rescue team airlifted them to the Pingtung Airport, and an ambulance rushed them to hospital. Ho Feng No. 7 was owned by a Taiwanese businessman, although it was registered in the Philippines and manned by a Filipino captain, with all his crew members being Philippine nationals.
Ho Feng No.7 sank off Itbayat island in the northernmost Batanes province
Gregorio told reporters through an interpreter that the ship left Miri Seaport in eastern Malaysia early Jan. 16 heading for Shenzhen in China's Guandong province, and that hours later the vessel began to take on water after a huge wave spilled the ship over onto its right side. Regretting that he and Melvin appeared to be the only survivors, Gregorio thanked the Taiwanese rescue team for saving their lives in his own language, "Salamapo!" Doctors at the hospital said the two Filipino crewmen suffered no injuries, except for signs of hypothermia, but that to be on the safe side, they will remain in an intensive care unit until their
conditions improve further.

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