By Hanah Tabios
Fishing vessel Gem-Ver 1, that figured in the Recto (Reed) Bank boat ramming incident, suffered more damage in Typhoon “Ursula’s” onslaught in Mindoro province the day after Christmas.
According to the San Jose, Occidental Mindoro local government unit (LGU), the strong winds brought by Ursula roared through the town on Thursday morning and knocked over the vessel.
“Hindi pa man lubusang nagagamit ang bangkang Gemver pagkatapos nitong maayos ay muli na naman itong nakaranas ng panibagong trahedya. Dahil sa lakas ng alon at hangin, walang kalaban-labang itinumba ito sa dalampasigan,” the LGU said.
(The boat hadn’t been used much after it was repaired, then it was hit by this new tragedy. Because of the strong waves and wind, it was easily tipped over.)
The boat’s owner Felix Dela Torre was also saddened by the incident.
Previously, around midnight on June 9, an alleged Chinese militia vessel rammed and partially sank the fishing boat anchored at Recto (Reed) Bank in the hotly contested West Philippine (South China) Sea.
The collision renewed tensions between the Philippines and China after the 22 Filipino fishermen were left abandoned at sea. Fortunately, a Vietnamese fishing vessel was in the vicinity and came to the rescue.
After the tragedy, the boat began plying the seas again beginning Nov. 14, with only 16 of the original crew, and not including its former captain Junel Insigne.