Philippine Coast Guard Recovers Capsized Wreck After Tanker Collision

Singapore freight forwarders – Star Concord
16-Oct-2023

The Philippine Coast Guard has found and recovered the wreck of the fishing vessel Dearyn, which was struck by a merchant ship and capsized at a location in the South China Sea earlier this month. 

In the early hours of October 2, the Philippine fishing vessel Dearyn was located about 85 nm to the northwest of Scarborough Shoal, drifting with six crewmembers aboard. Eight others were nearby, fishing using small craft. In the dark, a ship approached unnoticed and struck Dearyn, causing it to capsize. Three of the fishing vessel’s crewmembers were killed, including the captain. Using their small boats, the survivors left the capsized mother vessel behind and navigated to Coast Guard Substation Infanta on Luzon, 180 nautical miles to the east.

After examining AIS records and listening to the survivors’ accounts, the PCG believes that the vessel involved in the collision may have been a foreign-flagged crude oil tanker. In order to find out more, it decided to locate and recover the capsized vessel and search the wreckage for evidence. 

On October 7, 2022, a PCG search plane was dispatched to search for the Dearyn based on its last known position. The aircrew found it and confirmed it was afloat, and the PCG then dispatched the patrol vessel BRP Malapascua to secure it for salvage. 

The agency contracted with the Harbor Star Salvaging Company to provide salvage services. Harbor Star dispatched the tugboat Avior and a team of commercial salvors to support the response effort. 

On October 11, the Avior and her crew reached Dearyn. They successfully righted the vessel and rigged a tow, then got under way for Subic, Zambales. The team arrived at Subic Freeport late on Sunday night. 

PCG Vice Admiral Joseph Coyme said in a statement that the recovery was critical to the ongoing investigation of the marine casualty. The Philippine National Police (PNP) forensics team will now be able to conduct a thorough investigation, “further strengthening the case against the Marshall Flag vessel.” 

Philippine officials have previously named a suspect vessel, but have not yet filed a formal charge or complaint. 

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