14 Missing in Collision between Bulker and Philippine Fishing Vessel

July 1 ------ The Philippine Coast Guard has launched a search for 14 individuals who went missing after a fishing vessel collided with a bulker off the coast of Mindoro. At about 0100 hours Sunday morning, the 150-foot fishing vessel Liberty 5 collided with the Hong Kong-flagged bulker Vienna Wood at a position 15 nm off Mamburao, a community on the west coast of the island of Mindoro.

According to local coast guard officials, the Liberty 5 was under way on a voyage from Tawi-Tawi to a fishing port near Manila at the time of the collision. The Vienna Wood was under way from Subic to Australia on a ballast voyage. Poor weather conditions are believed to have contributed to the collision between the two vessels. After the accident, the Vienna Wood made a distress call. Commodore Armand Balilo of the Philippine Coast Guard told the Inquirer that there was a delay of "a few hours" in between the collision and the notification.

12 fishermen and two passengers from the Liberty 5 are still missing, and search efforts continued on Monday. The Coast Guard patrol boat BRP Boracay is under way and participating in the search, along with a utility aircraft and a SAR helicopter. The Vienna Wood transited to an anchorage in Batangas to await an investigation. The 2011-built Vienna Wood is a 55,000 dwt bulker flagged in Hong Kong and operated by a Greek firm.

Source: maritime-executive.com