MANILA – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) is coordinating with Singaporean authorities in its investigation into a tanker suspected to have rammed a Filipino fishing boat, resulting in the death of three fishermen on Monday.
In a message to reporters on Friday, PCG spokesperson Rear Adm. Armando Balilo said PCG personnel are now in Singapore to reach out to the local Port State Control (PSC) authority to inspect the Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker, MV Pacific Anna.
“The inspection should be targeted in the vessel compliance with the regulations of SOLAS Chapter V (safety of navigation) ; the result of their inspection could be used in our investigation,” Balilo said.
The PCG has also sent a formal request for the Marshall Islands Flag State to launch its own investigation into the incident.
“We expect with this formal request the Flag State of Marshall Island will conduct a safety investigation in compliance with the IMO’s Casualty Investigation Code Chapter 6 that the state of the ship involved in a very serious maritime casualty is responsible for ensuring that a marine safety investigation be conducted and completed,” Balilo said.
The result of these investigations, he said, will be used to pursue claims and damages for the victims, survivors, and owner of FFB Dearyn, the Filipino boat that capsized in the incident.
To date, the PCG is also planning the salvage and towing operations for FFB Dearyn, with the PCG Aviation Force to conduct aerial surveillance while a 44-meter PCG multi-role response vessel to secure the waters around the incident area.
Harbor Star, a private maritime service provider, will conduct the salvage and towing operations to bring FFB Dearyn to its home port in Subic, Zambales.
On Thursday, PCG spokesperson for the West Philippine Sea, Commodore Jay Tarriela, said the sea collision was likely an accident and occurred 180 nautical miles from Agno, Pangasinan, contrary to earlier reports that it was inside the waters of Bajo de Masinloc or Scarborough Shoal.
He also dismissed speculations that China was involved in the incident. (PNA)