Initial Probe Points to Lapses by Hong Kong Ship in Collision

Sandra Loyd

A Hong Kong- flagged ship that hit a Filipino boat, leaving 14 people missing out on at sea off Mindoro Island, did not release rescue boats and postponed its distress signal about the occurrence to Philippine authorities, the coast guard stated Tuesday.

Rescuers continued throughout the day with looking for survivors from the FV Liberty 5, the Philippine fishing boat that capsized after the collision in waters near the South China Sea, however discovered none of the boat’s 12 team members or 2 travelers, authorities stated.

The occurrence in reality took place on Saturday although the team from the MV Vienna Wood, a Hong Kong- signed up freight ship, waited till the pre-dawn hours on Sunday to alert Philippine authorities about the occurrence that took place about 15 nautical miles (27 km) off Tayamaan, a town in Occidental Mindoro province, which lies south of Luzon Island, stated Vice Admiral George Ursabia, chief of the Philippine Coast Guard.

“According to them, they just stopped and remained in the area without deploying any small boats for search and rescue for immediate assistance to the fishing vessel,” Ursabia stated.

The ship moved a range from the capsized Philippine boat due to the fact that, the team of the Vienna Wood reported, other fishing boats had actually currently gotten here and were assisting in the rescue effort, Ursabia stated.

Nevertheless, it was possible that the captain and team of the Vienna Wood might deal with “criminal and civil liabilities” for not assisting the team of the FV Liberty 5, he stated.

The team of the freight ship waited about 3 hours prior to notifying Philippine authorities about the collision, valuable time that might have been utilized to scramble rescue personnel to the scene, Ursabia informed press reporters.

“That was very crucial,” Ursabia stated, revealing that the incident took place at 10: 20 p.m, Saturday, however the coast guard just got an e-mail about the mishap at 1: 45 a.m. Sunday.

He stated they would likewise examine why the ship sent out an e-mail to relay info about the mishap instead of notify the coast guard by radio or telephone.

Based upon the damage continual by both vessels, “it appears that the Vienna Wood hit” the smaller sized vessel, he stated.

“It appears the fishing vessel was crossing the path of the bulk carrier from the right side,” Ursabia stated.

The collision came more than a year after the Philippines lodged a diplomatic demonstration about the ramming and sinking of a Filipino boat by a Chinese boat in challenged waters of the South China Sea. Because occurrence, 22 Filipino team members were left drifting at sea up until they were gotten by a Vietnamese boat.

Reported by BenarNews, an RFA-affiliated online news service.

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