MANILA - Rescuers will end their search and retrieval operations later Tuesday for the 14 Filipino fishermen who went missing after their boat collided with a Hong Kong cargo ship, the Philippine Coast Guard said.
The Coast Guard on Monday filed charges against the shipping firm of the Hong Kong vessel and 7 of the ship's officers, according to Commodore Leovigildo Panopio, commander of the Coast Guard in Calabarzon.
"Sa ngayon po, ite-terminate na namin mamaya 'yung aming search and retrieval pero once na meron pong development, kung may lumutang po, i-activate po namin ulit," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
(We will terminate later our search and retrieval operations but once there's a development, if a victim surfaces, we will activate it again.)
The Coast Guard is also set to file an urgent motion seeking a hold departure order against MV Vienna Wood, he added.
Philippine authorities will review the Hong Kong vessel's voice data recorder while witnesses have filed their sworn statements Monday, Panopio said.
"Sa mga pangyayari pong ganito usually human error. Previous accidents may nakatulog o hindi nakapansin. Dapat maging vigilant ang mga nababantay sa gabi na seafarers," he said.
(Human error usually causes these incidents. In previous accidents, someone had fallen asleep or did not notice the other vessel. Seafarers who keep watch at night should be vigilant.)
Philippine boat Liberty 5 was on its way to the Navotas fish port, while MV Vienna Wood was bound for Australia from Subic, Zambales when they collided in the waters of Occidental Mindoro on June 28.