Four dead from accidental asphyxiation on fishing vessel in southern Philippines

The Philippine Coast Guard has reported that four people have died as a result of accidental asphyxiation on a fishing vessel off Zamboanga City in the southern part of the country on Thursday, August 5.

The four deceased were all crewmembers of a fishing vessel identified by the name Julius 558.

An investigation revealed that at 06:00 local time on Thursday, Julius 558‘s captain instructed two crewmen to clean the vessel’s fish hold with the aid of a submersible pump. The crewmen were specifically instructed to remove the hold’s contents, which at the time was a mixture of melted ice and decomposing fish.

Minutes after they entered the hold, the two crewmen cried out for help, claiming that they were experiencing dizziness and shortness of breath.

The chief engineer said the captain and another crewman then went into the hold to render assistance. Minutes later, however, both men said they began exhibiting the same dizziness and shortness of breath as their companions.

The chief engineer added that all four men who were in the hold later became unconscious and had to be pulled out.

The chief officer meanwhile manoeuvred the vessel closer to shore in Zamboanga City to facilitate the evacuation of the four crewmen.

The unconscious crewmen were brought to hospital in Zamboanga City at 07:00 but were pronounced dead later that same day.

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