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3 Filipino fishers dead after ramming by foreign vessel

Gaea Katreena Cabico - Philstar.com
3 Filipino fishers dead after ramming by foreign vessel
Handout from the Philippine Coast Guard shows survivors of the maritime incident transporting the deceased victims to Infanta town in Pangasinan.
Philippine Coast Guard

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 11:49 a.m.) — Three Filipino fishermen died after their fishing boat was rammed by a foreign commercial vessel off Bajo de Masinloc, the Philippine Coast Guard reported Wednesday.  

Filipino fishing boat Dearyn was moored to a payao, or a floating fish aggregating device, located 85 nautical miles northeast of Bajo de Masinloc, also known as Scarborough Shoal, when it was struck by a still unidentified foreign vessel at around 4:20 a.m. Monday. 

“Due to the adverse weather conditions causing darkness, the crew on board the mother boat failed to detect an unidentified vessel approaching, resulting in a collision that caused the mother boat to capsize,” the Coast Guard said. 

This resulted in the death of three individuals on board, including the captain.

An update from the PCG revealed that Pacific Anna, a crude oil tanker sailing under the flag of Marshall Islands, might have collided with the fishing boat. It noted that the vessel “aligns with the details provided by the fishermen.”

The PCG will reach out to the flag of the vessel and the next port to be visited by the said vessel to be boarded by the Port State Control Officers. According to maritime tracker MarineTraffic, the vessel is en route to Singapore and is owned or operated by Atlantiss Ship Management, which is based in the city state.

The 11 survivors used their eight service boats to transport the deceased victims to Infanta town in Pangasinan. They arrived Tuesday morning and reported the incident to a PCG substation.

Investigation

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said he is deeply saddened by the incident and assured that the government will provide assistance to the victims and their families.

“The incident is still under investigation to ascertain the details and circumstances surrounding the collision between the fishing boat and a still unidentified commercial vessel,” Marcos said. 

“Let us allow the PCG to do its job and investigate, and let us refrain from engaging in speculation in the meantime,” he added.

In a statement, group PAMALAKAYA called on the Marcos administration to ensure impartial investigation “regardless of who the perpetrator was.”

“It is unfortunate that Filipino fishers have to be vulnerable and unprotected in our own traditional waters,” PAMALAKAYA national chairperson Fernando Hicap said.

Tensions at the Scarborough Shoal recently escalated after the Philippines removed a 300-meter floating barrier installed by the China Coast Guard near the southern entrance of the traditional fishing ground.

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PHILIPPINE COAST GUARD

SCARBOROUGH SHOAL

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