Business & Economy

14 Filipino fishermen disappear at sea after colliding with Chinese vessel

Manila, Jun 29 (efe-epa).- The Philippine Coast Guard is looking for 14 Filipino fishermen who disappeared the day before in the South China Sea after their boat collided with a Chinese cargo ship off the coast of Mindoro.

The Coast Guard identified the ship as the MV Vienna Wood, which is flying the flag of Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China, said Captain Armando Balilo, spokesman for the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard BRP Boracay boat resumed search operations at dawn Monday and is combing the waters of Mindoro, western Philippines, to search for fishermen, in addition to having launched an aerial search with the Islander plane, a helicopter. light twin-engine.

The Vienna Wood had departed from the Philippine port of Subic, in the northwest Philippines, and was sailing to Australia when it collided with the Philippine fishing vessel Liberty 5 early Sunday morning at Cabo Calavite, Balilo explained.

The captain of the Vienna Wood, who was not carrying cargo at the time of the incident, reported the accident; while the Philippine fishing boat had left its base on the southern island of Tawi-Tawi in the direction of the fishing port of Navotas, north of Manila.

The vessel’s owner, Irma Fishing and Trading, gave the boat as missing after it did not dock at Navotas at 7 in the morning and was found capsized hours later, with no trace of any of its crew.

A search for diving was started on Sunday afternoon around the wrecked ship, which suffered severe damage with the central section of the hull sunk, but was canceled at dusk.

In June last year, another Chinese ship sank a Philippine boat and drifted 22 Filipino fishermen some 300 kilometers southwest of Reed Atoll, an area of ??the disputed South China Sea that belongs to the Philippines – ownership ratified by a ruling by 2016 of the Court of Arbitration in The Hague- but that Beijing also claims.

A Vietnamese ship rescued the 22 Filipinos after the collision, in an event that caused great outrage in the Philippines, where President Rodrigo Duterte, who has guided his foreign policy towards China, played down the issue. EFE-EPA

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