HK-registered cargo ship operator says no survivors found from PH boat after collision
AM Nomikos, which manages the Hong Kong-registered MV Vienna Wood N, said they initiated a search operation immediately after it crashed into a Filipino fishing boat off Mamburao town in Occidental Mindoro on June 28 and found no survivors.
Initial reports indicated that the fishing boat, which was carrying a whole crew of Filipino fishermen, was ‘hit-and-run’ by MV Vienna Wood N, but AM Nomikos is now saying otherwise.
The company said in a statement that after crashing into an “object what they had thought to be a fishing boat”, Vienna Wood N actually “stopped and the crew conducted an emergency damage assessment”.
“The collision was reported soon after to Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC), Manila,” AM Nomikos said.
“An overturned hull of what appeared to be a small vessel was spotted and reported to the Coast Guard, no survivors have been found,” it added.
AM Nomikos pointed out that Vienna Wood N remained in the area and waited for the Philippine Coast Guard to arrive.
Militant fishers group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) blamed this incident to the impunity by the Duterte government on a Chinese vessel that was also involved on a similar “hit-and-run” of F/B Gem-ver-1 in Recto Bank that endangered the lives of 22 FIlipino fishermen last year.
The 22 fishermen from last year’s maritime hit-and-run, according to PAMALAKAYA, have yet to be fully compensated for the damages up to date, and that no justice has been served.
“Gem/Ver 1 before, now it’s the Liberty 5; but same tragic incident perpetrated by a Chinese vessel that continues to operate and disrespect our fishers in our very own territorial waters. The Duterte government’s continuing inaction against Chinese violation of our fishing rights encourages foreign vessels entering our waters to belittle the safety and welfare of Filipino fishers,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson, said.
“The full-force of the law should be applied against this foreign vessel and the government should act fast to rescue the victimized fisherfolks. We have high hopes that our authorities are able to find and get justice for the fishing crew that went missing,” he added.