Waves break boat given by Chinese to abandoned fishermen

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 11 2019 12:22 PM | Updated as of Nov 11 2019 12:53 PM

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MANILA — Big waves last week snapped in half a boat donated by a Chinese businessman to the crew of FB GEMVER who in June were left adrift for hours by a Chinese ship in the West Philippine Sea, a local official in their hometown San Jose, Occidental Mindoro said Monday. 

"Pinaglaruan siya ng alon. Inangat ang hulihan tapos binagsak ang unahan, nabali ang gitna," San Jose Vice Mayor Rod Agas said of the donated boat FB Pengyou. 

(The waves tossed the boat around. It lifted its stern and dropped the bow, breaking the boat in half.) 

Pengyou, which means friend in Chinese, was made in Batangas and sold to Chinese tycoon Xue Chengbiao of the Shanghai Jucheng Group, who then gave it to the Mindoro fishermen, according to an Inquirer report quoting Elizer Salilig, regional director of the fisheries bureau in Mimaropa. 

The 22 crew members of FB GEMVER were rescued by Vietnamese fishermen after their boat was rammed by a Chinese ship near Recto Bank, a rich fishing ground. 

In the interview, Mayor Agas said the fishermen were still customizing the FB Pengyou so it could be used in the open sea when it broke in half. 

Only the ship's wooden boards and motor can be salvaged for future use, he said. 

The fishermen have also yet to receive a livelihood package promised by the labor department and P15,000 in assistance from the social welfare agency, said the vice mayor. 

Stirred by Typhoon Quiel, last week's big waves also destroyed 80 houses, 50 to 60 boats, and a seawall in Paluan, said Mayor Carl Pangilinan. 

A new brewing storm may batter eastern Luzon or Visayas this week, said state weather bureau PAGASA.