1 dead, 10 missing in ship collision off Cavite

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 13 2014 07:22 PM | Updated as of Mar 14 2014 07:45 PM

MANILA (UPDATED) -- One fisherman died while 10 others went missing after two ships collided off El Fraile Island near Ternate, Cavite, authorities said Thursday.

F/B Dan Israel, a 45-foot fishing vessel that came from Navotas, was hit by a still unidentified ship between 11 p.m. and midnight Wednesday.

El Fraile Island is situated at the mouth of Manila Bay and south of Corregidor Island.

So far, 12 fishermen have been rescued.

Speaking to ANC's "Top Story," Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla said search and rescue operations only started Thursday morning after one of the survivors managed to swim to shore.

He said the fisherman was able to reach the shore at around 5 a.m. after swimming about 3 kilometers.

Some of the rescued fishermen suffered from dehydration and exhaustion after floating at sea for more than 12 hours.

They were given medical treatment in Maragondon, Cavite, which is 6 kilometers away from the collision site.

According to Remulla, the survivors said they were not able to see the marking of the ship that hit their vessel.

"Hindi nila napansin eh, bigla na lang daw kasi, anu yun eh hatinggabi. Kaya di talaga nakita kung ano tumama sa kanila," he said.

Remulla has dubbed the incident as a "hit-and-sail".

The Coast Guard has deployed BRP San Juan and BRP Davao del Norte to conduct search and rescue operations. The Air Force, meanwhile, is helping with the aerial search for the missing fishermen.

PCG spokesman Commander Armand Balilo told ANC that they are still coordinating with the vessel traffic management system in Corregidor as well as the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) to check the identity of the ship that hit the fishing vessel.

The ship was only described by the fishermen as a "big blue cargo vessel" carrying steel containers.

Balilo said they will also "look into all angles" as to what caused the collision of the two vessels.

He noted that both vessels should have spotted each other at sea, pointing out that ships have lights and radars.

He said the Coast Guard will also send divers to locate the F/B Dan Israel, which sank after the collision.

For the meantime, search and rescue operations have been suspended. Operations will resume tomorrow. -- With report from Jeff Canoy, ABS-CBN News