A Filipino fishing vessel M/V Liberty Cinco has reportedly left drifting after it was damaged when it collided with a large Chinese cargo vessel.
According to the news report by Rappler that the said vessel was operating in the waters of Cape Calavite, Occidental Mindoro when the incident happened.
The Chinese cargo ship seemed to have hurriedly left the incident area without even rescuing any of the Filipino vessel’s stranded crewmen. Likely, just as the previous MV Gem Ver incident where the Chinese ship appeared to have deliberately rammed their fishing vessel with the intent to sink it and then left the Filipinos in the mercy of the waves.
This bullish behavior is no longer new as Chinese ships routinely harass Filipino fishermen who navigates within Philippine waters including the hotly contested West Philippine Sea.
It is said that the fishing company noticed a gap in the ship’s scheduled port-calls and thus dispatched all available ships nearby to try and look for it. Unfortunately, they arrived too late and found the ship to be capsized with no sign of its 14 crew members.
The Chinese Cargo ship rammed the Filipino fishing vessel right from its prow
According to the divers who made the inspections. It looks like the Chinese ship rammed the mid-section of the Filipino fishing vessel resulting its hull to cave in and take in water. Which is also attested by the fact that the PCG who caught up with the Chinese vessel and conducted the investigation, also noticed some damage on the Chinese ship’s prow, which might indicate the angle from which it hit the Liberty Cinco and fuels speculations that the Chinese ship likely rammed the Filipino vessel head-on.
For the entire day yesterday, since the damaged ship was spotted at 10 AM. All of its sister ships frantically searched the area for the missing 14 crew members but couldn’t find any trace of them.
The company’s other boats remain in the vicinity of the incident, on the lookout for their colleagues, Soto said. He called on other fishermen in the area to help search for the missing crew members.
I’m going to reserve my commentary as this is currently a developing story. I’m hoping that those 14 Filipino crew members are safe and must be rescued at the soonest possible time.