The attack occurred in the morning hours of April 18. The cargo vessel, M/V Annabelle City, was sailing to Zamboanga from Iloilo when armed attackers approached on three motorboats and tried to board the cargo vessel. The freighter’s crew managed to send a distress call that was picked up by the security forces that sent a navy ship to the scene.
The freighter was loaded with 35,177 bags of cement and had nineteen crew members onboard.
“Immediately upon receipt of the said report, CGS Zamboanga coordinated with AFP counterparts regarding the incident and informed the Coast Guard District South Western Mindanao for possible deployment of PCG vessels to conduct maritime law enforcement on the said location,” the coast guard said in a statement.
A navy ship and Huey helicopter of Philippine Air Force were deployed to Siocon area.
Having seen the security forces approaching, the gunmen aborted their attempts to board the vessel and fled the scene.
There were no injuries reported.
The cargo ship continued its voyage to Zamboanga escorted by two navy ships.
M/V Annabelle is a steel hulled cargo vessel, owned/operated by Pherwin Shipping Corp, the coast guard added.