The agency managing MV Vienna Wood N said its crew tried to search for survivors after it collided with F/V Liberty Cinco, a Philippine fishing boat off Cape Calavites, Occidental Mindoro before dawn on Sunday, June 28.
AM Nomikos, which manages the cargo vessel MV Vienna Wood N, said in a statement that the ship was sailing off the coast of Occidental Mindoro when it crashed into an “object what they had thought to be a fishing boat.”
“Vienna Wood N stopped, and the crew conducted an emergency damage assessment. The collision was reported soon after to Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC), Manila,” it said.
After the collision, the Vienna Wood crew conducted a damage assessment before returning to the area of the crash to look for survivors, AM Nomikos said.
“An overturned hull of what appeared to be a small vessel was spotted and reported to the Coast Guard, no survivors have been found,” it said.
AM Nomikos also said Vienna Wood N stayed in the location and waited for the Philippine Coast Guard to arrive.
“Once the Coast Guard arrived, Vienna Wood N remained on scene until cleared to sail to a nearby port for surveys and repairs of the damages she sustained. She was escorted by the Coast Guard to Batangas Bay, Philippines,” it added.
According to AM Nomikos, the cargo ship is a 55,768 dwt, Hong Kong-flagged bulk carrier built in 2011.
It added Vienna Wood N managers, crew, and other staff are “cooperating fully with authorities” for the ongoing investigation.
“Our thoughts are very much with the missing individuals and with their families,” AM Nomikos said.
Meanwhile, Fermin Soto, the owner of F/V Liberty Cinco, said the Philippine Coast Guard found that the boat’s pilothouse was severely damaged.
“Kung ‘yun ang pagbabasehan na sitwasyon, yun ang tinamaan ng pagkabunggo kaya sila ay tumaob,” he told ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo.
(If we will base it on that situation, that’s where the cargo ship hit, which was why the fishing boat capsized.)
“Isa rin pong nagkaroon ng butas ‘yung unahan ng cargo base na ‘yun ang tumama po dun sa gitna, kaliwa ng Liberty-5 na dahilan na tumaob.”
(The cargo base also had a hole, which must have hit the center and left side of Liberty-5, causing it to capsize.)
Soto said his company is also looking for witnesses.
“Kung tutuusin talagang kayang iwasan ‘yan, baka naman nagiiwas, di rin makaiwas. Hindi natin masabi. Naghahanap din kami ng witness po,” he said.
(It might have been avoided, they may have tried to avoid it but they can’t. We can’t say. We’re looking for witnesses.)
The government already deployed aircraft and ships to search and rescue the 14 missing Filipinos aboard Liberty 5.