Philippine Coast Guard to continue search and rescue operations until tomorrow
MANILA – The Philippine Coast Guard is set to talk with the crew of at least seven fishing boats in the vicinity where a cargo ship collided with a fishing boat late Saturday evening. The Philippine Coast Guard expressed surprise what took the MV Vienna Wood three hours to send a distress signal via email after the incident.
Vice Admiral George Ursabia, Phil. Coast Guard commandant added they can only hope the 12 fishermen and two passengers reached the shorelines of Occidental Mindoro as the search and rescue operative, composed of two aerial assets and two patrol boats have not found anything except for fishermen’s belongings which littered a portion of the Mindoro Strait.
“The search and rescue operations will last until tomorrow,” Admiral Ursabia said in a virtual press briefing from his headquarters at Manila’s Port Area. He added he and his staff continue to pray the fishermen and passengers are safe in Occidental Mindoro. However, there have been no reports about fishermen reaching the shorelines from the different local government units in Mindoro.
“We are also looking into reports that the ship’s Third Mate was on watch,” Admiral Ursabia added.
While the MV Vienna Wood remains at the Port of Batangas, the crew will only be allowed to leave should the Coast Guard lift its detention order which took effect last night.
Asked of the damage to the ship’s stem, Admiral Ursabia said it would show the impact of the collision.
“The stem is the hardest part of the ship and it appears below the water line. Should the vessel be loaded, then it would be unseaworthy and cannot be allowed to leave port,” he said. (Melo M. Acuña)
Vice Admiral George V. Ursabia (PCG File Photo)