Video: Fishing Vessel Navigates to Safety After Losing its Bow

Singapore freight forwarders – Star Concord

On Tuesday, the crew of a Taiwanese fishing vessel lost their bow in a collision with a bulker off the Philippines – and then navigated the remaining two-thirds of their boat to safety. 

At about 2100 hours local time on Tuesday night, the Taiwanese fishing vessel Sheng Feng 12 was operating some 80 nm off the coast of Candon, Ilocos Sur, on the northwest end of Luzon. The Sheng Feng collided with an unidentified vessel, suspected to be a Bangladeshi-flagged bulker en route to Indonesia. 

The Philippine Coast Guard dispatched the patrol vessel BRP Malapascua to assist the damaged fishing vessel. On arrival, they found that it had sustained damage at the bow and needed portable salvage pumps to dewater. 

Courtesy PCG

Sheng Feng 12 intact in 2021 (WPCFC)

A video released by the PCG (above) showed the 60-foot tuna longliner was missing the entirety of its bow and focsle, from the stem aft to the main deck level, and still making way on an even keel. Survival and navigation after sustaining damage of this severity is possible for a heavily compartmentalized warship, but rare for a merchant vessel. 

The PCG recommended that the Sheng Feng head for the nearest Philippine port for repairs. By 1000 hours Wednesday, it was about 10 nm off Ilocos Sur, suggesting it had transited a long distance overnight after sustaining damage.

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