Fishing Boat Explodes, Sinks Near Scarborough Shoal

Fishing Boat Explodes

Fishing boat explodes near Bajo de Masinloc, also known as Scarborough Shoal, on Saturday, June 29. The explosion resulted in burn injuries to the fishermen on board, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) reported on Sunday, June 30. This incident has raised concerns about the safety of fishermen operating in the disputed waters.

Here are some details from the report of Tutubi News Magazine.

Details of the Incident

According to PCG spokesperson Rear Admiral Armand Balilo, the explosion occurred with eight crew members on the fishing boat. The PCG promptly conducted a rescue operation, providing immediate medical assistance to the injured fishermen. Photos released by the PCG show the crew members with burn injuries receiving treatment from Coast Guard personnel.

Balilo stated that preliminary accounts from the crew indicated a faulty battery starter motor caused the explosion. The malfunction led to a significant fire, causing the boat to partially sink. “The explosion and subsequent sinking of the vessel highlight the importance of regular maintenance and safety checks on fishing boats,” Balilo emphasized.

Presence of China Coast Guard

In a related development, two China Coast Guard vessels reportedly approached the site of the incident. This observation has added a layer of complexity to the situation, given the ongoing territorial disputes in the South China Sea. “The presence of the China Coast Guard vessels is notable, and we are looking into all aspects of the incident,” Balilo said.

The PCG is actively investigating the incident to gather more details and information. “We are committed to understanding the full scope of what happened and ensuring the safety of our fishermen,” Balilo assured. Further updates will be provided to the media as soon as they become available. The incident underscores the precarious conditions faced by Filipino fishermen in the region. It highlights the need for heightened safety measures and vigilance.

Read Also: ‘World’s Largest’ China Coast Guard Ship Intrudes PH Waters


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