Chinese ship rams PH boat off Mindoro

A CHINESE-FLAGGED bulk carrier rammed a Philippine fishing boat off Paluan, Occidental Mindoro, Tuesday afternoon, leaving five fishermen drifting in the water.

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) confirmed on Thursday that the MV Tai Hang 8, which figured in the allision with the FBCA Ruel J, was of Chinese registry.

chinese ship rams ph boat off mindoro

Chinese ship rams PH boat off Mindoro

An allision is a maritime term referring to an accident where a moving vessel runs into a stationary one.

Capt. Edyson Abanilla, Coast Guard Oriental Mindoro station commander, said the incident occurred in the waters between Occidental Mindoro and Palawan, which is part of the West Philippine Sea, at about 4 p.m. on December 5.

The fishing boat was moored to a fishing aggregation device when it was hit by the Chinese ship.

“The ill-fated fishing banca Ruel J and its crew, allegedly hit by MV Tai Hang 8, was said to have been left adrift as the foreign vessel continued its voyage unknowingly,” the PCG said in a statement.

The PCG said it received information on the incident at noon on December 6, and immediately sought out the boat owner in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan.

Three other fishing boats — the Joker, Precious Heart and Jaschene — helped rescue the Ruel J’s crew and towed the boat to Pandan Island, Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro.

The five crew members of Ruel J were identified as Junrey Sardan, Ryan Jay Daus, Bryan Pangatungam, Cristian Arizala and Joshua Barbas.

At Sablayan, the PCG said it found the fishermen to be in good physical condition and provided them with essential supplies.

It added that the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office also conducted medical checkups on the fishermen.

The PCG said it advised the captain and owner of the Ruel J to file a marine protest.

It assured that the incident would be reported to the Chinese Port State Control office.

“The Coast Guard is diligently engaged in coordinating with the ship’s company, aiming to uncover the truth surrounding the incident,” the PCG said.

Questions, however, were raised as to why the Chinese ship did not stop to help the Filipino fishermen who were left adrift overnight.

Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, it is the responsibility of any vessel that witnesses an incident at sea to come to the aid of the ailing vessel.

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