Search for 42 other crew members still going on
Search operations still going on for Panamanian-registered ship with 39 Filipinos aboard
MANILA - The Department of Labor and Employment reported a missing cargo ship some 185 kilometers west of Amami Oshima, Kagoshima Prefecture in Japan.
In a statement from the Presidential Communications Operations Office said a distress signal was received at dawn yesterday from a cargo ship west of Japan. The distress call was received by the 10th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters as Typhoon No. 9 was approaching.
The freighter identified as “Gulf Livestock 1” was Panamanian flagged and has a crew of 43 including 39 Filipinos, two New Zealander, an Australian and a Singaporean. The freighter was said to be loaded with cattle and left port in Napier in New Zealand and was bound for Tangshan Port in China.
Osaka-based Labor Attaché Beth Estrada said the Japan Coast Guard continues its search and rescue operations and found a Filipino crew member identified as Chief Officer Eduardo Sereno who was adrift. Four rescue patrol boats, two airplanes and divers from Haneda Airbase Special Rescue Team have been tasked to search for the ill-fated vessel and crew.
The Department of Foreign Affairs said the Consulate General in Osaka is monitoring the situation and has maintained coordination with the Japanese Coast Guard and has launched a second search and rescue mission before the expected typhoon.
The DFA Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs (OUMWA) and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Osaka are also in close coordination with Korphil Ship Management and Manning Corporation, the local manning agency in finding out the condition of the Filipino seafarers. (Melo M. Acuna)
Japan Coast Guard rescues Filipino crew member Eduardo Sereno. (Photo from Japan Coast Guard website)