The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said an automobile carrier ship was abandoned by its 25 crew off Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) after it caught fire on June 15.

In a news release posted on its website on Monday, the PCG said they were rescued by bulk carrier “Canopus Leader” which was passing by en route to Thailand.

The PCG said MV Diamond Highway which was on its way to Batangas caught fire in the Recto Bank, the cause of which is still being investigated.

“Coast Guard Headquarters received a distress alert from Maritime Rescue Coordination Center Hongkong that there is a distressed vessel at the vicinity waters west of Nalaut Island, northern Palawan,” the press statement said.

The PCG said they received the report about the distressed car carrier ship on June 16.

It said BRP Cabra (MRRV-4409) which is within the area of responsibility of the Coast Guard District Palawan (CGDP) was sent to the vehicles carrier’s location to “render necessary assistance”.

The statement also said BRP Cabra, upon arrival at the area, immediately started fire fighting to save the ship.

“As of press time, BRP Cabra is still lying next to the distressed vessel for further monitoring of its status,” the statement claimed.

An investigation is ongoing as to the cause of the fire and the PCG is establishing contact with “Canopus Leader” for the identification of the crew.

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