MANILA, Oct 4 (Reuters) – An oil tanker registered under the flag of the Marshall Islands “accidentally collided” with a Philippine boat in the South China Sea, killing three fishermen, the Philippine Coast Guard said. On Wednesday.
Philippine Coast Guard spokesman Armando Balilo said the incident remains under investigation, but Coast Guard surveillance indicated the Pacific Anna, registered under the flag of the Marshall Islands, was the vessel that likely collided with the fishing boat.
The coast guard said in a statement that the Philippine boat “failed to detect” the approaching foreign vessel due to bad weather, resulting in the boat capsizing. The captain was among the dead.
According to Eikon data, the Coast Guard said it contacted Pacific Anna en route to Singapore.
The Philippine fishing boat was anchored 85 nautical miles northwest of the disputed Scarborough Shoal on Oct. 2, “accidentally collided” with a foreign merchant vessel, the Philippine Coast Guard said. Eleven crew members survived.
Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. expressed grief over the deaths of the three fishermen and assured their families that his government would “hold accountable those responsible for this unfortunate maritime incident.”
Marcos said the incident is under investigation to ascertain the details and circumstances surrounding the collision.
“Let’s let the PCG do its job and investigate and refrain from speculating in the meantime,” Marcos said of the Coast Guard on the X social media site.
The owner of the Pacific Anna has not yet been identified, said the Coast Guard’s Palillo.
Tensions around Scarborough Shoal, one of Asia’s most contested maritime features, flared recently after the Philippines said it had removed a 300-meter ball buoy barrier installed by China’s coast guard near Scarborough Shoal, one of Asia’s most contested maritime features.
The strategic shoal, named after a British cargo ship that ran aground in the 18th century, is in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone but was seized by China in 2012, which has always maintained a constant presence of coast guard ships and fishing trawlers there. from.
China has rejected the Philippines’ version of events regarding the embargo, while the US has weighed in with Manila’s support and pledged to fulfill its treaty obligations to defend its treaty ally if attacked.
Reporting by Karen Lema and Michael Flores; Editing by Martin Petty and Gerry Doyle
Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.