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AFP assists 17 Vietnamese seafarers off Palawan

AFP assists 17 Vietnamese seafarers off Palawan
Dec 28 2022

The Western Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, through its Littoral Monitoring Station (LMS) Melville, helped 17 Vietnamese crew members of a vessel that ran aground in Balabac, Palawan Tuesday.

In a statement, WesCom said it received reports of a Vietnamese vessel in the area on December 21. The vessel, M/V Dolphin 15, disclosed that it came from Tacloban and is en route to Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam with 17 crew members.

On the evening of the same day, the crew of the vessel radioed LMS Melville and requested to take shelter and anchor in the area due to worsening weather and sea conditions.

By Monday, LMS Melville sought an update about the condition of the Vietnamese. They said they have repositioned because their anchor was being dragged due to the strong wind and current.

The crew of M/V Dolphin 15 later informed the WesCom that it is awaiting the arrival of its sister company ship M/V Victoria 19 for towing, and that everyone on board are safe.

However, by Tuesday, the crew members told WesCom that they intended to abandon the ship as a safety precaution. They requested for assistance while they are waiting for the arrival of the other ship.

The Philippine authorities then provided food and shelter to the crew members who were identified as the following:

Dang Van Minh - Ship Captain
Le Phu Tri
Truong Ngoc Dieu
Pham Van Chung
Nguyen Tat Minh
Nguyen Van Truong
Tran Van Ba
Truong Van Trung
Nguyen Van Luan
Bui Nguyen Thanh
Nguyen Van Tuan
Pham Van Loi
Bui Ngoc Long
Tran Van Ngoc
Phan Hai Duong
Nguyen Van Canh
Pham The Hung

The crew members were likewise provided medical and immigration assistance through the local government of Poblacion in Balabac.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Philippine authorities monitored that the Victoria 19 has already anchored at the vicinity of Matangule Island in Balabac.

"Notwithstanding our duty as protector of the Philippine territory and sovereign rights, your Western Command, as a good neighbor, is ready to provide humanitarian assistance to whoever and whenever it is needed," Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos said.