Philippine Coast Guard

PH Coast Guard detains Chinese-manned ship in Zambales over ‘deficiencies’

Bea Cupin

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PH Coast Guard detains Chinese-manned ship in Zambales over ‘deficiencies’

DETAINED VESSEL. MT Hyperline 988, a Sierra Leone-flagged ship anchored off the coast of Zambales.

Philippine Coast Guard

The seven-man Chinese crew failed to produce documents such as their crew list, passports, and seaman's books, says the Philippine Coast Guard

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) detained a Sierra Leone-flagged vessel with a Chinese crew on Thursday, May 16, over “21 deficiencies” including the lack of documents.

The PCG told media that it received a report on Wednesday, May 15, about a ship anchored off San Felipe, Zambales, that was “hoisting the Philippine flag.” When attempts to communicate via radio yielded no response, the Coast Guard headed out to inspect the vessel. 

The vessel, identified as MT Hyperline 988, had a seven-man crew, all Chinese. According to the crew, they last made a port call in Hong Kong, left on Saturday, May 11, and arrived in Zambales on Wednesday.

Electronics, Mobile Phone, Phone
DETAINED. The Philippine Coast Guard inspects and later detains a Sierra Leone-flagged ship that was anchored off the coast of Zambales. Photo from Philippine Coast Guard

The ship master, whom the PCG did not identify, said they meant to anchor at the Manila Anchorage Area but decided to go to Zambales instead because of “high anchorage fees” in Manila.

When prompted, the ship’s crew “failed to present original and printed versions of relevant documents, including the crew list, passports, and seaman’s books,” said the PCG. 

Photos released by the PCG show MT Hyperline 988 with a Philippine flag still hoisted on it.

The ship, with its crew on board, is under PCG detention. The Coast Guard noted that inspection with a narcotic detection dog “yielded a negative result.”

The PCG has yet to determine MT Hyperline 988’s nature of business and its purpose for visiting the Philippines. – 

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.