This June 28, 2020 photo shows a part of capsized Philippine fishing vessel Liberty 5 after its collision with Hong Kong-flagged cargo vessel MV Vienna Wood. The Philippine Coast Guard is still conducting search and rescue operations for the 12 fishermen and two passengers aboard the fishing boat.
PCG/Released
Missing fishermen might be trapped under capsized boat — coast guard
Patricia Lourdes Viray (Philstar.com) - July 2, 2020 - 12:29pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Coast Guard is considering the possibility that the 14 missing crew members and passengers of FV Liberty 5 might have been trapped under the capsized boat.

On the fourth day of search and rescue operations, no body has been found yet in the vicinity of the collision between Hong Kong-flagged cargo vessel MV Vienna Wood and Philippine fishing boat FV Liberty 5.

Commodore Armand Balilo, spokesperson of the PCG, said the instruction of PCG commandant Vice Admiral George Ursabia Jr. was to continue the search operations.

"Meron din teorya na baka napunta doon sa ilalim dahil nasama sila doon sa paglubog ng fishing vessel," Balilo said in an interview with radio dzRH Thursday.

(There is a theory that the missing fishermen might have been trapped under the boat when the fishing vessel sank.)

Asked if the coast guard has the capacity to go all the way down to the sea floor to search for the missing Filipinos, Balilo said the depth of the vicinity waters is approximately 2,000 meters while technical divers may only reach up to 100 meters.

The PCG spokesperson said they might ask for assistance from other countries in recovering the fishing boat.

"Magtatanong din kami sa mga eksperto, magtatanong din kami sa mga ibang bansang kalapit natin kung paano gawan ng paraan ito... kung meron makinarya o technological equipment na pwede mahiram," Balilo said.

(We will ask experts, we will also ask neighboring countries on how to do this... maybe they have advanced technological equipment that we can borrow.)

As of Thursday, coast guard patrol boats BRP Boracay and BRP Malapascua and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources' patrol vessel MCS 3009 are still conducting search and rescue operations in the vicinity waters off the coast of Occidental Mindoro.

The PCG has also contacted the families of the missing fishermen to provide necessary assistance.

Initial investigation showed that poor visibility and unfavorable sea conditions caused the collision Saturday night.

The coast guard, however, earlier said they are also considering other factors such as the competence of the crew of the Chinese vessel.

Investigation also found that the Chinese vessel did not deploy any small boat to assist the Philippine boat upon collision. The coast guard's command center in Manila received the distress call from the Chinese vessel at around 1 a.m. on Sunday, about three hours after the maritime incident.

PHILIPPINE COAST GUARD SHIP COLLISION
As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: July 6, 2020 - 12:54pm

The Philippine Coast Guard deploys two aerial assets for aerial search at the vicinity waters of Occidental Mindoro for 14 missing Filipinos.

The coast guard activates the mission to rescue 12 missing fishermen and two passengers aboard fishing vessel FV Liberty 5, which collided with Hong Kong-flagged cargo ship MV Vienna Wood early Sunday.

"MV Vienna Wood departed from Subic, Zambales going to Australia, while FV Liberty 5 departed from Cagayan de Tawi-Tawi going to Navotas Fish Port, Metro Manila when the maritime incident occurred," the PCG says.

July 6, 2020 - 12:54pm

The Philippine Coast Guard files criminal charges against the shipping company, master and officers of Hong Kong-flagged MV Vienna Wood more than a week after its collision with Philippine fishing boat FV Liberty 5.

PCG spokesperson Armand Balilo said at least four individuals were charged with reckless imprudence resulting to multiple homicide and damage to property before an Occidental Mindoro court.

July 3, 2020 - 10:54am

Vice Admiral Georga Ursabia Jr., commandant of the Philippine Coast Guard, says they are now "building up pieces of evidence" to file criminal charges against Hong Kong-flagged cargo vessel MV Vienna Wood.

"The investigation on the crew members of MV Vienna Wood is now finished. Our lawyers in Mindoro are now getting sworn statements from the fishermen who responded," Ursabia says in an interview with radio dzBB.

After three days, the coast guard has concluded its search and rescue operations and will be shifting to search and retrieval operations.

July 2, 2020 - 11:29am

The Philippine Coast Guard says the 14 missing fishermen and passengers of FV Liberty 5 might have been trapped under the capsized fishing boat.

The coast guard says he depth of the vicinity waters is approximately 2,000 meters while technical divers may only reach 100 meters depth. Search and rescue operations of BRP Boracay, BRP Malapascua and MCS 3009 are still ongoing.

"We are currently waiting for updates from our deployed teas. We are also coordinating with PCG Station - Batangas to provide more details," the coast guard says in a message to reporters.

June 30, 2020 - 3:23pm

Fisherfolk group Pamalakaya says the initial report of the Philippine Coast Guard is enough to sue Hong Kong-flagged MV Vienna Wood.

Initial report from the coast guard revealed that the Chinese cargo vessel did not make any effort to rescue the 12 fishermen and two passengers who went missing after the boat collision.

"The PCG report says it all; despite the ship being in compliant with the navigational standards and capable of rescuing the 14 fishing crews, they left the helpless fishers to uncertainties," Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap says.

June 30, 2020 - 10:39am

Vice Admiral George Ursabia Jr., commandant of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), says initial investigation showed that poor visibility in the area and poor sea condition due to strong southwest monsoon or habagat caused the maritime incident between MV Vienna Wood and FV Liberty 5.

The PCG, however, is also looking into other factors such as incompetence of the crew of the offending vessel, especially the one on watch at the time.

According to Ursabia, MV Vienna Wood stopped and remained in the area after the collision but did nit deploy a small boat to provide assistance to the 14 Filipinos aboard the capsized fishing boat.

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