PCG allows removal of detained foreign vessel in Zambales

PCG allows removal of detained foreign vessel after it runs aground in Zambales

PCG allows removal of detained foreign vessel after it runs aground in Zambales

GROUNDED Preparations are underway to remove the foreign aggregate carrier MV Hyperline 988 from the shoreline of San Felipe, Zambales, after it ran aground, as seen in this photo on May 29. —photo courtesy of the Philippine Coast Guard

SAN FELIPE, ZAMBALES, Philippines — Nearly two weeks after a detained foreign aggregate carrier with a Chinese crew ran aground in this town, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said preparations for the salvage operation are underway and may start on Tuesday.

The PCG was to issue the salvage company’s permit for the emergency operation yesterday, Monday, according to Cmdr. Euphraim Jayson Diciano, head of the PCG station in Zambales.


“According to our regulations, the owner must find a salvor accredited by the [PCG] so the vessel’s [Philippine-based] owner, Hyperline, hired the same salvor that surveyed the vessel on May 30. The salvor already applied for us to issue their permit,” Diciano told the Inquirer on Sunday.


READ: Chinese crew in Zambales not allowed to leave PH

On May 30, the salvaging company evaluated the extent of damage sustained by MV Hyperline 988, and their survey report revealed that the vessel was in a precarious condition and required immediate action. While Hyperline is a Philippine-headquartered corporation, its ship, MV Hyperline 988, is registered in Sierra Leone.

Diciano noted the urgency of the salvage operation to mitigate further damage to the vessel and the marine environment.

The vessel was detained on May 16 due to 21 deficiencies found during an unauthorized anchorage at Barangay Sindol of San Felipe.

On May 29, while en route to Barangay Bolitoc in Sta. Cruz town to change anchorage, it ran aground at the unfinished pier in Barangay Maloma here.

Embassy’s appeal

In separate letters dated May 31 and June 3, the Chinese Embassy requested the PCG station to continue ensuring that the seven Chinese crew members’ basic needs and legal rights, who were not allowed to leave San Felipe, were met.


“It has also come to our attention that the mental health of our Chinese crew has taken a hit due to stress brought about by their current situation,” the Chinese Embassy wrote in one of the letters.

It added: “In this regard, may we kindly ask what are the next steps for the seven Chinese crew to be able to go back to China at the soonest possible time? What is the main reason for them not to be allowed to finish the crew change?”

On June 1, the PCG denied the request to replace the Chinese crew members with Filipinos, which also prevented the Chinese nationals from leaving the country.

At that time, the PCG noted that Sierra Leone, the flag state, had not yet been notified about Hyperline’s request for the crew change.

Five crew members remain at a resort here while two others guard their vessel.

Diciano said they have received certification for three Filipino crew members, who would come in from Sierra Leone to replace the Chinese crew. However, he said, they were “still awaiting one more crew member to complete the replacement of the Chinese crew.”

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“If we receive certification for one more Filipino crew and they have met our port state control requirements for the vessel’s safety, [the Chinese crew] can leave. However, we must still await the outcome of any security or law enforcement concerns, if there are any,” Diciano said.

TAGS: Chinese crew, Chinese embassy, Zambales

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