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Efforts to locate missing Cessna continues without letup – CAAP

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THE members of the Search and Rescue (SAR) Teams in Isabela are “exhausting all possible search and rescue efforts to successfully locate the missing Cessna aircraft.” The Cessna 206 with registry number RP-C 1174 with six passengers on board went missing since January 24, 2023 (Tuesday) when it departed at Cauayan airport for Maconacon airport.

Thus assured Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) spokesman Eric Apolonio, saying that CAAP’s Philippine Aeronautical Rescue Coordination Center (PARCC) in Isabela is maintaining close coordination with the SAR teams at air, ground and sea, in its effort to locate the missing RP-C 1174 after its last report to Cauayan Tower on January 24, 2023.

According to Apolonio, PARCC extended its operational hours and early opening of Cauayan Airport in support of the SAR mission that required additional operational requirements as CAAP re-evaluates all SAR data/reports obtained from the SAR units probable search areas covered by the search aircraft (visual/electronic search) and ground teams.

The latest air search operations conducted by Philippine Air Force (PAF) on board Sokol helicopter yielded negative sightings while Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) launched a maritime search in the area of Divilacan Bay using small surface vessels with frogmen on board. Divilacan Bay is one of the coastal towns of Isabela and one of the many white sand beaches of the province and due to lack of transportation few people are still able to see the beautiful paradise of the region.

There are reports that rescue teams from the ground searching for the missing Cessna plane and its six passengers in Isabela are starting to get sick from the rain and cold weather.

“They are groping in the dark… Sumusuko na yung iba. Nagkakasakit na. Unang-una malamig, pangalawa umuulan… Paakyat na madulas dahil virgin forest,” Constante Foronda, head of the Isabela Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office said over the radio recently.

”Zero visibility pa halos… Hindi nila nakikita ang kanilang target,” he added.

But still, he said, rescue teams are not giving up hope and doing their best, authorities believe it will take time to locate the aircraft or its wreckage, adding that there is a low chance that the missing aircraft landed at sea, since one of the cellular phones of the passengers rang when relatives tried to call.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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