Over 30 rescued from burning fishing vessel off Catanduanes, Philippines

Photo: Philippine Coast Guard

The Philippine Coast Guard and a Good Samaritan ship facilitated the successful rescue of all 34 crewmembers of a foreign-flagged fishing vessel after a fire ignited in its engine room while sailing off Catanduanes province on Wednesday, January 26.

The incident on the South Korean-registered No 96 Oyang occurred at 02:00 local time on Wednesday off Panganiban, Catanduanes, while the vessel was en route to Montevideo, Uruguay, to conduct fishing activities.

At 03:00, the captain sent out a distress call and gave the order to abandon ship after the crew realised that the blaze can no longer be contained.

The fishermen were subsequently picked up out of the water by the crew of the Panamanian-flagged tanker Golden Aspirant, which had diverted to the area to render assistance at the coast guard’s request.

The rescued sailors included 22 Indonesian nationals, 10 South Korean nationals, and two Filipino nationals. All 34 were later brought aboard the coast guard patrol vessel BRP Suluan and transported to Cebu province where they were given food and medical attention.

The coast guard said that, in compliance to Covid-19 prevention protocol, the fishermen have undergone RT-PCR testing and are currently under quarantine in Cebu while waiting for the results.

Representatives of the fishing vessel’s owner and local authorities are currently monitoring the fishermen’s condition.

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