Owner of Vessel Damaged by Chinese Bulker Reaches Settlement

Ruel J
Image courtesy PCG

Published Dec 25, 2023 1:58 PM by The Maritime Executive

The owner of a Philippine fishing boat has settled a claim against a Chinese bulker in connection with a collision off Occidental Mindoro earlier this month. 

According to the Philippine Coast Guard, 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 Chinese bulker Tai Hang 8 struck the Ruel J. The fishing boat's crew alleged that the ship continued on its voyage without stopping, and Ruel J was left adrift. Three other fishing vessels - the Joker, Precious Heart and Jaschene - rescued the five crewmembers and towed their damaged vessel back to shore at Sablayan. 

Image courtesy PCG

The Philippine Coast Guard reported the incident to Chinese authorities and said that they would contact port state control in the bulker's next port of call. Tai Hang 8's AIS signal was received only intermittently over the following weeks, but it appears to have called in South Kalimantan, Indonesia before heading back north into the South China Sea.  

On Friday, the Philippine Coast Guard announced that the owner of the Ruel J has accepted a full settlement for loss and damage caused by the collision. The PCG started an investigation and worked with the shipowner's agent to assess the damage to the fishing boat. 

In a statement, the PCG warned "all users of the seas in the Philippines that the PCG will pursue legal actions wherever necessary for offenses committed in the country's waters."