PCG-7 to commend “hero” who saved MV Siargao Princess’ passengers, crew

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - CDN Digital | November 09,2019 - 01:43 PM

Seaman First PO3 Ralph Barahan (leftmost) helped save the lives of the 61 passengers and crew of the ill-fated MV Siargao Princess on November 7, 2019. | Photo Courtesy of PCG-7

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Philippine Coast Guard in Central Visayas (PCG-7) will be commending Seaman First PO3 Ralph Barajan for his heroism in the unfortunate incident involving the sinking of M/V Siargao Princess off the shore of Sibonga town on Thursday, November 7, 2019.

Lieutenant Junior Grade Michael John Encina, spokesperson of PCG-7, told CDN Digital that Barajan was a “key instrument” in saving all 62 passengers and crew of the ship, which sank after it was rocked by big waves.

Barajan was on his way back to the PCG Substation in Southern Cebu on board the MV Siargao Princess when the maritime incident happened.

He is hailed as “hero” as he ensured that all passengers and crew were accounted for as they awaited for a rescue vessel to arrive.

Encina said Barajan has been allowed to rest for a few days following the traumatic experience.

“He will be properly awarded with recognition from the Coast Guard. Yun din po ang winowork-out namin ngayon, (That is what we are working on now),” said Encina in a phone interview.

Encina said he is not authorized to say if Barajan will be promoted for his heroism.

But Encina said that a promotion is possible noting Barajan’s bravery.

CDN Digital’s Facebook post on the article that featured Barajan as the off-duty Coast Guard, who kept the passengers alive while awaiting rescue, generated positive comments from netizens, most of them expressed gratitude and admiration for Barajan’s bravery.

READ: Off-duty Coast Guard keeps passengers of sinking ship alive while awaiting rescue,

Netizens compared Barajan to the demi-god “Maui,” who is one of the central characters of the Disney animated film, Moana.

He was also called the real-life Aquaman for saving the lives of the passengers and crew of MV Siargao Princess during the maritime accident.

Netizens called on the PCG-7 to commend Barajan and even promote him as a reward of his “selfless act.”

Encina said other individuals who helped in the rescue operation will be commended as well.

“Part lang si Barajan sa ating mission. It was a composite accomplishment not only from the PCG, but also from other agencies as well,” he said.

Encina said several local government units, the Central Command, Navy and the Philippine National Police Maritime extended help during the rescue operation.

The local government units of Carcar City, Sibonga, and Argao sent their Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) teams to respond to the needs of the survivors.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines Central Command (AFP) also sent helicopters as the first aerial responders to spot the location of the victims, while the Navy sent a ship to help in the rescue.

Encina said the coordination of the agencies played a huge role in saving all passengers and crew of the vessel.

Barajan was at the forefront of the rescue as he ensured the passengers and creq have a high chance of survival while awaiting the rescue vessel. / celr

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