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Filipino fishermen begin repairs of F/B Gem-Vir; hopes to return to Recto Bank

Filipino fishermen started repairing F/B Gem-Ver, the fishing boat that sank after being involved in a ‘hit and run’ incident with a Chinese vessel in Recto Bank in the West Philippines Sea, also known as the South China Sea.

Amidst their experiences, the crew F/B Gem-Ver began the repairs for the seacraft on Sunday, June 16, in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro in hopes that they can once again set sail after two months.

In an interview with DZRH reporter Raymund Dadpaas, Toto Gregorio, one of the 22 fishermen rescued by a Vietnamese vessel after the incident, vowed to return to Recto Bank since many countries also fish in the said portion of the West Philippine Sea.

The Chinese vessel, identified as Yuemaobinyu 42212 by the Chinese Embassy in Manila, collided with F/B Gem-Ver on the night of June 9, and left the 22 Filipino fisherman on board the fishing boat afloat in seat without offering any aid.

The Chinese Embassy confirmed the involvement of Yuemaobinyu 42212 but denied that the incident was ‘a hit and run’.

In a statement on Friday, June 14, the embassy said that the captain of Yuemaobinyu 42212 attempted to rescue the Filipino fishermen, ‘but was afraid of being besieged by other Filipino fishing boats’.

Yuemaobinyu 42212 was allegedly beseiged by at least seven Filipino fishing boats prior the incident.

The embassy claimed that Yuemaobinyu 42212 only sailed away from the scene after confirming that Filipino fishing boats rescued the 22 Filipino fishermen on board F/B Gem-Vir.

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