5 rescued after Chinese-flagged vessel hit Filipino boat

By Raymond Carl Dela Cruz

December 7, 2023, 6:49 pm

MANILA – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) reported on Thursday that five Filipino fisherfolks were rescued following an alleged allision between their boat and a Chinese-flagged bulk carrier off Occidental Mindoro.

Allision is a maritime term when a ship hits a stationary object. The incident occurred Tuesday but was reported to the PCG on Wednesday.

In a statement, the PCG said the incident took place in the waters near Paluan, Occidental Mindoro between fishing boat FBCA Ruel J and MV Tai Hang 8 around 4 p.m. on Dec. 5.

“Prompt action was taken by the Coast Guard Station (CGS) Occidental Mindoro upon receiving information about the incident on [Wednesday] at noon. Coast Guard Sub Station (CGSS) Sablayan immediately coordinated with the boat owner in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan,” the PCG said.

A rescue operation was launched near Pandan Island, Sablayan, and rescued all five namely Junrey Sardan, Ryan Jay Daus, Bryan Pangatungam, Cristian Arizala, and Joshua Barbas.

Their boat was towed by FB Joker and assisted by FB Precious Heart and FB Jaschene.

According to the survivors, their boat was attached to a "payao" – a fish aggregating device – when it was hit by MV Tai Hang 8 and they were left adrift as the vessel continued its voyage.

After their rescue, the fisherfolks were brought to the Port of Sablayan where they were supplied with essentials, while the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) conducted health check-ups.

“The Municipality of Sablayan and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-Sablayan pledged additional aid to support the survivors,” it said.

The survivors were later turned over to their families while the boat captain and the owner were advised to file a marine protest.

The PCG assured that the allision incident would be reported to the China flag state and Port State Control office as part of maritime incident procedures.

“The Coast Guard is diligently engaged in coordinating with the ship's company, aiming to uncover the truth surrounding the incident,” the statement added. (PNA)