Chilean Navy helicopters rescued 24 crew members, most of them Filipino nationals, that were on-board the "Ocean Breeze"
, the cargo ship that stranded this morning on Llolleo Beach, near the Port of San Antonio.
According to information provided by Osvaldo Castro, maritime governor of San Antonio, the group is in good condition, although some of them showed signs of dehydration and were in shock. The captain and one crew member remain in hospital in San Antonio due to hypertension and hypothermia, respectively.
The maritime authority said:
"The ship was pushed towards the beach this morning due to strong waves and winds affecting the shores of the central region of the country. The vessel cut the anchor and was dragged by the wind and waves to the beach running aground about 300 yards offshore,"
According to Emol-online
, after rescuing the crew, the Navy efforts will focus on re-floating the vessel and tug it out offshore to avoid rupture of the hull and the risk of fuel spillage.
The Ocean Breeze, a ship of 30,000 tons displacement, carries cargo of wheat and soy beans. It arrived to the Chilean coast from Panama and arrived last night in San Antonio.
The conditions of strong winds and ocean surge are expected to worsen tonight and to persist until the weekend; thus, the situation of the vessel is precarious and there is a high possibility that it may become a total loss.
(Note: This is the first English language report on this event).