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14 Filipinos missing from fishing boat

14 Filipinos missing from fishing boat

Hong Kong-flagged cargo vessel bound for Australia collided off the western Philippine coast with FV Liberty 5.

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The Philippine coastguard continued its search for 14 people who were missing since their fishing boat collided in choppy waters with a Hong Kong flagged cargo vessel.

It was not immediately clear whether the fishing boat sank, and strong waves were hampering the search for its occupants, officials said.

The Philippine coastguard said the cargo vessel MV Vienna Wood collided with the FV Liberty 5 in the early morning hours of Sunday about 27 km off the west coast of Mamburao city in Manila after midnight.

It remains unknown what caused the collision.

In Monday's search for the 12 fishermen and two passengers who were on board the Liberty 5, a light airplane and a helicopter joined a coastguard ship, coastguard spokesman Armando Balilo said.

The disabled boat was spotted hours later, but the crew did not give any warning. The operation was finally called off Sunday at nightfall, authorities in the Philippines said.

At the time of the crash, the Hong Kong-flagged freight vessel with 20 crew on board carried no load. It was en route to Australia.

The Filipino fishermen said the Chinese vessel abandoned them at sea after the incident, though a Vietnamese trawler later rescued them.

The Chinese ship's owner later apologised for the accident, but no fee has yet to be charged.

Maritime Business World 

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