The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has retrieved the remains of the third fatality from the collision of two foreign-flagged vessels off Corregidor Island near Bataan over the weekend.
PCG: Death toll from foreign vessels' collision off Corregidor Island rises to 3
At a glance
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has retrieved the remains of the third fatality from the collision of Sierra Leone-flagged dredger MV Hong Hai 189 and Marshall Island-flagged oil tanker MT Petite Soeur off Corregidor Island near Bataan over the weekend.
(Sierra Leone-flagged dredger MV Hong Hai 189 and Marshall Island-flagged oil tanker MT Petite Soeur collide in the vicinity waters off Corregidor Island on April 28, 2023. Photo courtesy of PCG)
Rear Adm. Armando Balilo, PCG spokesperson, said the fatality was recovered during the conduct of diving operations at 6:27 p.m. on Saturday, April 29.
“Kahapon may narecover pa tayong isa doon sa diving operations (Yesterday, we recovered another body during the diving operations),” Balilo said in a radio interview with dzBB on Sunday, April 30.
The identity of the latest fatality has yet to be revealed in public.
But the PCG said that the fatality was among the three previously reported missing crew members of MV Hong Hai 189, which sank after colliding with MT Petite Soeur last April 28.
The retrieval brought to three the death toll from the collision of the dredger and the oil tanker.
The PCG earlier reported that a Chinese seaman and a Filipino safety officer of MV Hong Hai 189 have died due to the incident.
Balilo said search and rescue operations were ongoing to find the two remaining missing crew members of MV Hong Hai 189.
“Ayon kay [Coast Guard Station Bataan] Commander Jonathan Serote, magbabalik sila doon sa area para hanapin ‘yong dalawang nawawala (According to [Coast Guard Station Bataan] Commander Jonathan Serote, they will return to the area to resume the search for the two missing individuals),” Balilo said.
“Palagay nila nandoon pa rin sa ilalim kaya nagdagdag tayo ng divers (They believe the victims are still underwater so we deployed additional divers),” he added.
Meanwhile, 15 crew members of MV Hong Hai 189 had been rescued and are already in safe condition.
PCG Commandant Adm. Artemio Abu ordered an investigation to determine the cause of the collision.
“Mayroon na pong marine protest na inihain ‘yung kapitan ng barko ng motor tanker (MT) Petite Soeur at hintayin po natin ang kalalabasan ng imbestigasyon (The captain of motor tanker Petite Soeur has filed a marine protest so let us wait for the result of the investigation),” Balilo said.
The PCG has also yet to confirm whether or not there was a threat of oil spill following the sinking of MV Hong Hai.