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Chinese Bulker Hits Moored Fishing Boat off the Philippines

Ruel J
Courtesy PCG

Published Dec 7, 2023 12:21 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Philippine Coast Guard has reported an allision involving a Chinese bulker and a moored fishing boat off the coast of Occidental Mindorodo. Five survivors were rescued by good samaritan fishing vessels. 

According to the PCG, the fishing boat Ruel J was moored to a fish aggregating device off the northwestern tip of Occidental Mindoro on December 5. At about 1600, the bulker Tai Hang 8 struck the Ruel J, and the fishing boat's crew alleged that the ship continued on its voyage without stopping. Ruel J was left adrift. 

Images courtesy PCG

Three other fishing vessels - the Joker, Precious Heart and Jaschene - rescued the five crewmembers and towed their damaged vessel back to shore at Sablayan. The PCG checked on the survivors' condition, interviewed them and provided them with basic supplies. Two local agencies also said that they would provide additional assistance. 

The agency identified the Ruel J's crewmembers as Junrey Sardan, Ryan Jay Daus, Bryan Pangatungam, Cristian Arizala, and Joshua Barbas.

The PCG plans to report the incident to Tai Hang 8's flag state, China, and will ask for investigative assistance from port state control in the ship's next port of call. It has also reached out to the shipowner, a midsize firm based in China's Hebei province. 

AIS data provided by Pole Star confirms that the bulker passed the western side of Occidental Mindoro on the afternoon of December 5, the reported timeframe of the accident. The vessel's AIS signal was last received later the same day.