PCG officer is 2020 recipient for ‘IMO’s Exceptional Bravery at Sea’ award

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - CDN Digital | October 12,2020 - 03:35 PM
PCG officer is 2020 recipient for ‘IMO’s Exceptional Bravery at Sea’

Seaman First PO3 Ralph Barahan (leftmost) helped save the lives of the 62 passengers and crew of the ill-fated MV Siargao Princess on November 7, 2019. | Photo Courtesy of PCG-7

CEBU CITY, Philippines – An officer of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) is this year’s recipient for the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Exceptional Bravery at Sea award.

The officer is Probationary Ensign (P/Ens) Ralph Ofalla Barajan, the off-duty Coast Guard officer, who rescued 62 people on board a sinking ship off the waters of Cebu last November 2019, the PCG announced in a statement on Monday, October 12, 2020.

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

The IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea is an annual international recognition for individuals who performed acts of exceptional bravery – risking their own lives to ensure the safety of life at sea or to prevent or mitigate marine environmental damage.

Barajan was one of the passengers of the ill-fated MV Siargao Princess, owned and operated by Virgin Island Princess Shipping, on November 7, 2019.

RELATED STORY: PCG-7 to begin probe into MV Siargao Princess sinking

The ship departed from Catagbacan Port in Loon, Bohol but it started to sink off the waters of Sibonga town in southern Cebu past 9 a.m. that morning due to strong and big waves that flooded the vessel.

Fortunately, there were no fatalities in the incident, and Barajan has been credited then for making the rescue operations a swift success.

Read: Ralph Barajan, a hero coast guard officer

Among the actions cited in his nomination, which was submitted by Philippine Ambassador to the United Kingdom Antonio Manuel Lagdameo, were instructing passengers to stay calm, guiding them in safely jumping off the vessel one by one, telling the captain to abandon ship, and tying lifejackets in groups when everyone was floating on seawaters waiting for the rescue unit to arrive.

PCG Commandant, Admiral George V Ursabia Jr. welcomed this development and commended Barajan’s actions during the incident.

“P/Ens Barajan’s display of courage, determination, and presence of mind which led to the successful rescue of 62 victims, including himself is indeed worthy of emulation and respect for him, his family, and for the PCG – as a perfect demonstration of the Coast Guard service,” Ursabia said.

/bmjo

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TAGS: 202 IMO Exceptional Bravery at Sea, MV Siargao Princess, PCG, PH Coast Guard officer is 2020 recipient for ‘IMO’s Exceptional Bravery at Sea’, Philippine Coast Guard, Probationary Ensign (P/Ens) Ralph Ofalla Barajan, sinking of MV Siargao Princess

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