One dead after tug runs aground off Philippines

Manila: A seafarer has died in the Philippines after a tug ran aground off the coast of Antique province.

Eighteen others were rescued from the M/Tug Benny, which was towing Barge Brian, a barge loaded with 6,705 tonnes of coal from Semirara Island to Toledo, Cebu.

The casualty was identified as German Atay, quartermaster of the tug, the Philippines Coast Guard (PCG) said yesterday.

The two vessels took shelter in waters off Barangay Balud, Tobias, Antique, as Tropical Depression Seniang hit the Visayas region.

Strong winds and big waves caused the vessels to drift towards the shore, the PCG said. The vessels grounded around 50 metres from land.

Twelve crew members from Barge Brian were able to swim towards the shore, while the remaining seven crew of M/Tug Benny moved on to the barge to await rescue by the local Coast Guard.

The seven aboard the tug were rescued and taken to a medical facility, but the quartermaster did not survive. [02/01/15]

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