Manila : A Chinese crew member died while 18 more were rescued after two vessels MV Hong Hai 189 and MT Petite Soeur collided in the vicinity waters of Corregidor Island last Friday, Phil Star reported citing the Philippine Coast Guard.
After the incident, one crew member from the MV Hong Hai 189 went missing, with search and rescue operations still ongoing, Phil Star reported. “The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) responds to a collision between MV Hong Hai 189 and MT Petite Soeur at the nearby waters off Corregidor Island yesterday, 28 April 2023,” the PCG said on Saturday.
"The Coast Guard Sub-Station Corregidor was informed that MV Hong Hai 189 had already capsized. The PCG vessel, BRP Capones, was directed to proceed to the incident area."
MV Hong Hai 189 is a dredger-type vessel which carries the flag of Sierra Leone while the MT Petite Soeur is a chemical/oil product tanker carrying the flag of Marshall Island, Phil Star reported.
The former's last port was recorded in Botolan, Zambales while the latter was in Mariveles, Bataan.
Rescue vessel Heng Da 19, which was near the vicinity of the incident, came to the rescue of 16 out of 20 crew members of MV Hong Hai 189.
The PCG on Saturday responded likewise and dispatched another vessel, plus a minimum and rubber boats to assist in the rescue operations, Phil Star reported.
"As of 7:30 AM, the SAR team recovered one cadaver (Chinese crew)," the Coast Guard said.
"They also rescued two more crew who were immediately brought to the nearest hospital for identification and medical assistance," it added.
Coast Guard Aviation Force members are currently conducting an aerial survey to augment the search and rescue operations.
All 21 crew members of the MT Petite Soeur are said to be in good physical condition, Phil Star reported.
"The authorities will conduct a port state control inspection to MT Petite Soeur to hold and detain the vessel," the PCG said.
The incident occurred just a few days after a Chinese coast guard ship cut off a Philippine patrol vessel carrying journalists nearby Ayungin Shoal, an area officially within the Philippine exclusive economic zone of Manila, which almost ended in a near-collision, Phil Star reported.
Beijing condemned the incident as a "premeditated and provocative action." Beijing claims sovereignty over almost the entire South China Sea, ignoring a 2016 international arbitral ruling in the West Philippine Sea which favours the Philippines.