RP vessel ran aground 21 fishermen in the custody of DMLE
Palau Horizon, Thursday December 20, 2007
By Bernadette H. Carreon
Horizon news staff

Twenty-one Filipino fishermen are in the custody of the Division of Marine Law
Enforcement after the vessel carrying them ran aground at Helen's Reef.

Marine Law Officer Allen Maldangesang said that the 21 crew members of  KM
Maranatha were brought in to the DMLE office and were due for check-up at
the hospital yesterday.

Maldangesang said that the case is still under investigation and marine
law enforcers are still determining the circumstances of the incident.

Maldangesang however said that the Philippine fishing vessel is not
registered to fish in Palau waters.

DMLE Chief Ellender Ngirameketii said that the division received reports
that there is a Philippine-registered fishing vessel stranded on Helen
Reef last Dec. 12.

He added that the next day the patrol boat led by Officer Tomas Tutii,
Maldangesang and Victor Remengesau traveled to Helen's Reef to check on
the report.

Remengesau said the vessel is found sitting on top of the reef and that
the crew members have to be transported back to Koror because the fishing
boat is stranded.

Maldangesang said the crew members were taken to the DMLE office yesterday
and most of them are from General Santos City, Philippines.

The vessel's captain Doroteo Sobel was also in the custody of marine law
enforcers and after

Remengesau said the vessel is about 60-feet long and proper government
agencies will be assessing the extent of the damage that the vessel might
have caused to the reef.

He added that when they boarded the vessel, catch found were already a few
days old.