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Search for Missing Pinoy Seafarers: Japan Coast Guard says halt, DOLE says it's still on

Japan halts search for crew of capsized freighter, several Filipino seamen still missing
Sep 10 2020

MANILA - Japanese authorities have halted their full-time search operations for missing crew of a cargo ship that sank in a typhoon in the East China Sea last week, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Thursday.

The Japanese Coast Guard has returned to its "usual patrol arrangements as they have found no trace of the ship" since Sep. 5, Saturday, the DFA said in a statement.

"The DFA joins the families and loved ones in continued prayers for the missing seafarers," it said.

The Japanese Coast Guard earlier found the remains of a Filipino seafarer, while two Filipino survivors have been in contact with their families in the Philippines, the agency earlier said.

Over 30 Filipino crew members remain missing.

The sunken ship's crew was made up of 39 Filipinos, 2 New Zealanders and 2 Australians. The boat was traveling from Napier in New Zealand to the Chinese port of Tangshan.

It issued a distress call on the early morning of Sep. 2 as Typhoon Maysak passed through the area, setting off a desperate search for the 43 crew on board.

— With a report from Agence France-Presse

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Search, rescue ops for missing seafarers off Japan still on — DOLE

MANILA, Philippines — Search and rescue operations for the missing crew members of a cattle ship that sank off Japan last week are still ongoing, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III clarified Thursday.

In an interview on ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo, Bello said that only the “special operation” in search of the missing crewmen was suspended by Japanese authorities.

“‘Yung paghinto, hindi nangangahulugan na wala nang rescue operation. Hindi nga lang ‘yung kagaya noong special operation na finield ang dalawang aircraft, apat na patrol boat, at divers from Japanese Coast Guard. Pero tuloy pa rin ang standard rescue operation,” he said.

(The rescue operation was not totally stopped. It was not just like the special operation they did before where two aircrafts, four patrol boats, and divers from Japanese Coast Guard were deployed. But the standard rescue operation continues.)

“Hindi pa humihinto, ‘yun na nga lang, hindi kagaya ng ginawa nila ng three days na talagang full rescue operation,” Bello added.

(It was not stopped. It is just not like the full rescue operation they did for three days.)

The Gulf Livestock 1, which went missing and reported to have capsized last September 3 in the East China Sea on its way to China from New Zealand due to Typhoon Maysak, carried 43 crew members — 39 from the Philippines, two from New Zealand and two from Australia.

Bello said Japanese authorities have so far rescued three Filipinos, including one who later died while being treated at a hospital.