Saturday, January 02, 2010

22 North Koreans Abandon Troubled Ship In Philippines

Twenty-two North Korean crewmen abandoned their cargo ship after it listed dangerously and then ran aground in the northern Philippines, officials said Friday. One of the Koreans was slightly injured as he abandoned the listing M/V Nam Yang 8 late Thursday off Claveria township in Cagayan province. They transferred to a life raft and reached Claveria, where villagers helped them obtain police assistance, regional police Chief Superintendent Roberto Damian said. The Nam Yang 8, loaded with a low-grade iron ore called magnetite, left the northern Philippine province of Aparri late Thursday and was en route to China when it encountered large waves and began to list off Claveria, coast guard chief Admiral Wilfredo Tamayo said.When the 3,461-ton ship's engine lost power, its skipper ordered his crew to abandon ship, Tamayo said. The ship drifted and later ran aground in nearby Ilocos Norte province, he said. Damian said immigration authorities were checking if the North Koreans have required work permits. The sea accident was the latest off the Philippines in recent days. Dozens of people remain missing after the ferry MV Baleno-9 sank off Batangas, south of Manila, on Dec. 26. Separately, 24 people remain missing and are feared dead after their wooden-hulled ferry collided with a fishing boat and rapidly sank near Manila on Christmas Eve, the coast guard said. Sea accidents are common in the archipelago because of frequent tropical storms, badly maintained boats and weak enforcement of safety regulations.

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