Search and rescue operations for the seven missing fishermen in Palawan waters will continue until they are all accounted for, according to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).
PCG spokesperson Commo. Armando Balilo, stated Monday that assets of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) and Philippine Navy (PN) are now jointly searching for them, and a notice to mariners has been issued to inform transiting vessels of their operation.
At approximately 5:40 p.m. on May 28, the fishermen disappeared after their fishing boat JOT-22 collided with the Marshall Islands-flagged MV Happy Hiro in waters near Macaranao Island, Agutaya town.
Seven Filipino fishers are still missing after a ship collision involving their fishing boat and a cargo vessel occurred in waters off Maracanao Island in Agutaya, Palawan on Saturday.
“Nag-issue na rin tayo ng notice of mariners para alam ng mga transiting vessels na mayroon tayong hinahanap na mga mangingisda,” Balilo said in an interview with a national news network.
He said based on investigation, JOT-18 was experiencing engine issues prior to the collision.
Balilo added that as of Sunday, the MV Happy Hiro’s logs are being examined in order to determine whether its warning system was able to send an alarm, which could have prevented the tragedy.
Immediately following the collision on Saturday, a passing fishing boat was able to rescue 13 of the FB JOT-18’s 20 crew members.
The rescued individuals were transferred to MV Happy Hiro — 12 were found with minor scratches and one had a minor head wound.
Most of the distressed fishers are residents of Bantayan Island, Cebu, and one is a resident of Estancia, Iloilo.
They were taken to Lipata Port, Culasi, Antique on Sunday and sent to the nearest hospital by the PCG’s BRP Panglao (FPB 2402).
They are Donde Petiero, 38; Roderico Mata, 31; Randy Mata, 36; Renie Espinosa, 38; Mario Quezon, 24; Sammuel Ducay, 40; Rendil dela Peña, 42; Martin Flores Jr., 58; Jupiter Ibañiez, 38; Andring Pasicaran, 43; Jonel Mata, 30; Joemar Pahid, 32; and Arjay Barsaga, 36. (PNA)