18 Vietnamese crew held as ship hits PH reef

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MANILA, Philippines — Eighteen Vietnamese crew members of a cargo ship have been detained after it ploughed into a coral reef in the central Philippines, the coastguard said Tuesday.

The Unicorn Logger, a Panama-flagged freighter, ran aground at a protected marine sanctuary off the tiny island of Sambawan on Friday, coastguard spokesman Armand Balilo said.

“The crew are detained aboard their vessel as the damage to the reef is assessed,” he told AFP.

The ship was carrying logs from Malaysia to Japan when it hit the reef, Balilo added.

A central Philippines coastguard spokesman, Ensign Jamaal Aceron, told AFP the ship will be towed for repairs to a shipyard in the central port of Cebu once the extent of the damage on the vessel is determined.

It was the latest in a series of maritime incidents at protected Philippine reefs this year.

A US Navy minesweeper ran aground at Tubbataha Reef, a World Heritage-listed marine sanctuary in the southern Philippines in January, leading to fines for reef damage and the dismantling of the ship.

A Chinese fishing vessel also ran aground at Tubbataha in April, causing even more damage.

The crew were arrested and charged for damaging the reef as well as for carrying endangered mammals.

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Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • BOYPDAF

    how vulnearble are we to Chinese,taiwanese and vietnamese?Ho can they stroll in our teritorries?whats next indonesian,malaysian,singaporeans?

    • BakbakanNa

      Include your beloved Japo criminal benefactors who entered Pino inland waters unabated since the 1970s.

  • opinyonlangpo

    It is open season for Philippine waters and territories. Poachers, intrusion, occupation and so on. Wake up people.

  • JOHNCeneza

    nanaman..

  • China_Lee

    Philippine is rich of marine resources. China et. al…are envy of Philippine vast marine resources. That’s why Chinese are swarming our Place like a rat who starved from their dungeon.

    • Chihuahua

      its extortion open season for rogue elements of PCG ..happy times are back again!

  • Marx Louis Wang

    In the first place why are they making a passage on our waters especially via Tubbatah reef? The should pay a stiff fine.

  • Patikotiko

    That’s what I’m saying. Foreign vessels navigating inside our waters are supposed to be guided by our CGs navigation pilot. We don’t let them sail inside without our pilots to protect our National Security and our reefs and foreign vessels. Why allow them to sail inside without passing the inspection from BoC, BoI and the Coast Guard. Our National Security is at stakes here okay?

  • neverwint3r

    can’t the phils construct some sort of lighted platforms around the area, so with the warning lights those ships would not be running aground everytime? it’s amazing that the ocean around the phils. is so huge covering several hundred thousand miles, but these ships keeps running into these reefs everytime. are those ship navigators stupd or what?

  • Alexalbert Mistisma

    Ships are passing through phils waters to avoid the disputed seas where the chinese are guarding…

    They are feeling safe when they pass through phil waters…

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