A Chinese fishing vessel that ran aground in Tubbataha Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage site, on April 8, 2013 is pictured in this image provided by Naval Forces West. REUTERS/ Naval Forces West
The Philippine Coast Guard has pulled a Chinese fishing vessel from the the Tubbataha Reef two weeks after running aground on the protected site.
The PCG commandant Rear Admiral Rodolfo Isorena made the announcement that at approximately 2:20 p.m. Friday, crews aboard the tugboat M/T Limay pulled the grounded F/V Min Long Yu from its grounded position on the reef. Isorena added that PCG divers will conduct underwater hull inspection for any damages prior to the fishing vessel’s towing from the UNESCO World Heritage site.
Once the F/V Min Long Yu is cleared, it will be immediately towed to Puerto Princesa City where a detailed vessel inspection will be conducted, particularly concerning the 400 boxes of dead anteaters found beneath the cargo hold section.
Isorena said that all pieces of evidence gathered and collected by the investigation team will be turned over to the Philippine Council for Illegal Entrants, which is tasked with filing charges against the 12 crewmembers of the F/V Min Long Yu.
Earlier, the 12 crewmembers were arrested and charged with unauthorized entry, poaching and bribery after they allegedly tried to bribe Tubbataha park rangers that apprehended them.
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