On Friday afternoon, Chinese fishing vessel F/V Min Long Yu, was successfully towed and removed from its grounding site near the northern isle of Tubbataha Reef.
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) commandant Rear Admiral Rodolfo Isorena said that around 2:20 p.m. the vessel that ran aground last week was extracted from its grounding position by Malayan Towage’s tugboat M/T Limay.
Rear Admiral Isorena said: “PCG divers will conduct an underwater hull inspection for any damages prior to the fishing vessel’s towing from the UNESCO World Heritage site.”
Once the F/V Min Long Yu is checked, it will be immediately towed to Puerto Princesa City where a detailed vessel inspection will be conducted, particularly on the discovered frozen anteaters beneath the cargo hold section.
Rear Admiral Isorena said that all pieces of evidence which will be collected by the investigation team will be turned over to the Philippine Council for Illegal Entrants that is in-charge of filing charges against the 12 crew member of the foreign vessel in question.
To remind, this is the second vessel that ran aground in the UNESCO World Heritage site. On March 30 the U.S. Navy contracted salvage personnel completed the removal of the grounded mine countermeasures ship Ex-Guardian from the Tubbataha Reef. Inspection into the cause of the grounding of USS Guardian is still underway.
Naval Today Staff, April 19, 2013; Image: Naval Forces West