Coast Guard, Navy save cargo ship from sea pirates off Zamboanga
MANILA — A firefight ensued between the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) personnel and suspected pirates off the waters of Zamboanga on Tuesday afternoon as the government’s maritime security personnel rescued a cargo vessel from being hijacked.
The PCG spokesperson, Commander Armand Balilo, said the firefight happened after the suspected pirates apparently attempted to commandeer cargo vessel MV Ocean Kingdom that was travelling from Zamboanga to the Davao region.
Balilo said the crewmembers of Ocean Kingdom sought the help of the Coast Guard.
The MV Ocean Kingdom was attacked at 25 nautical miles east of Matanal Point, Sibago Island, Basilan Province.
“Info received from Coast Guard District South Western Mindanao that at about 3:30 p.m. January 3, 2017, Coast Guard Station Zamboanga received radio call from MV Ocean Kingdom, a cargo vessel of Oceanic Shipping Lines, that they are under attack by unidentified armed men onboard two speed boats at vicinity 25 nautical miles East of Matanal Pt, Sibago Island, Basilan Province,” a report from the PCG said.
The clash ensued and the pirates failed to take control of the vessel due to the intervention of the PCG, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the Philippine Navy.
“Initial info is that the perpetrators fired multiple gunshots at the bridge of the vessel sir,” Balilo said, adding that no casualty was reported as of press time. SFM
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