Three crewmen are dead and another two are missing after a suction hopper dredger capsized after colliding with a tanker in the Philippines on 28 April.
According to the Chinese embassy in the Philippines, the Sierra Leone-flagged Hong Hai 189 was working in waters around Corregidor island in Bataan province and was manned by 20 crew members, comprising 16 Chinese nationals and four Filipinos.
The Philippine Coast Guard said that around 10 pm (local time) that day, the dredger was about to be anchored when Petite Soeur, a products tanker operated by Danish operator Norden’s pool, switched berths, hitting the starboard side of the Hong Hai 189. The impact created a hole that reportedly caused the dredger to capsize.
Two Chinese nationals were pronounced dead after being pulled from the water, while two other Chinese nationals are missing. One of the Filipino crewmen was retrieved from the water alive, but later succumbed to his injuries in Bataan General Hospital.
The other 15 crew members were rescued and are said to be in good health.
The Philippine Coast Guard said that the Hong Hai 189 was moving from Botolan in Zambales while the Petite Soeur was in Mariveles, Bataan.
Petite Soeur has been detained and is undergoing a port state control inspection after suspected safety deficiencies were detected.
The 2017-built Hong Hai 189 is shown in vessel databases as being owned by HF Marine, a Singapore-registered company.
The Chinese embassy in the Philippines said that it has been in close contact with the Philippine Coast Guard. At the same time, it urged the relevant crewing agencies to actively cooperate with the search and rescue efforts, and properly arrange to repatriate the deceased crewmen’s remains.
Minister-counsellor Wang Yulei of the Chinese embassy in the Philippines has visited the rescued crew members, while Ambassador Huang Xilian has spoken with the representatives of the surviving crewmen to learn about the accident. Huang emphasised that the embassy will continue to coordinate with the Philippine side to spare no effort to search for the missing crew members.