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Philippines says three fishermen killed after boat struck by foreign vessel in South China Sea

Christian Fernsby |
The Philippines is investigating the deaths of three Filipino fishermen after they were killed in a collision with a “foreign” vessel in the South China Sea, authorities in the country said on Wednesday.

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Philippine fishing boat FFB Dearyn was struck at around 4:20 a.m. on Monday near Scarborough Shoal, according to the Philippine coast guard, citing a crew member.

Eleven crew members survived the crash and used their own service boats to reach land on Tuesday morning, carrying the dead – including the captain – to Pangasinan province in northern Luzon, the country’s largest island, the coast guard said.

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said the coast guard is “backtracking and checking all monitored vessels in the area as part of its ongoing investigation.”

“We assure the victims, their families, and everyone that we will exert every effort to hold accountable those who are responsible for this unfortunate maritime incident,” Marcos said.

He also asked that all parties “refrain from engaging in speculation” while the investigation is ongoing.

In an update Wednesday, the coast guard said it would reach out to an oil tanker registered under the flag of the Marshall Islands, which may have been in the area at the time of the incident, based on marine traffic data and witness accounts from the survivors.

Based on information collected by authorities, the tanker came from South Korea and was heading to Singapore, Rear Admiral Armand Balilo told CNN affiliate CNN Philippines in a TV interview.

Balilo said that the oil tanker was in the area during the time of the collision and authorities were still collecting evidence.


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