Yacht runs aground in Tubbataha; 2 foreigners rescued

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Friday, March 21, 2014

MANILA (Updated) -- A yacht carrying two foreign nationals ran aground on a southern islet of Tubbataha Reef in Palawan on Thursday.

Coast Guard Public Affairs chief Commander Armando Balilo said two crew members of S/V Creola were rescued at Basterra Reef around 47 nautical miles south west of South Islet.

Linda McKeever, 60, an American, and Rene Men, 47, from Palau, were onboard the distressed yacht when they were found and rescued by a passing fishing vessel, F/V Mighty One, around 5:30 a.m. of Thursday.

Around 6:20 a.m. of same day, personnel of Coast Guard District Palawan were informed by the Maritime Situation Awareness Center of the Philippine Navy that S/V Creola was floating near area.

PCG immediately deployed the search and Rescue vessel BRP-Davao del Norte to the area where the yacht was anchored as reported by their counterparts in the United States Coast Guard (USCG).

The fishermen on board F/V Might-One reported that it sighted a motor boat alongside the yacht of the foreigners.

Mckeever and Menz were transferred to the PCG vessel but later on returned to their yacht to conduct assessment and secured important materials. They were later brought to Puerto Princesa City.

The yacht was reportedly on its way to Borneo from Palau Island when the incident happened.

Authorities are investigating the incident as of this posting.

Tubbataha Reef National Park, a Unesco-declared world heritage site located in the middle of the Sulu sea, is considered as one the best diving sites in the world. (Sunnex)

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