THIRTY-NINE Filipino seamen were on board a cargo ship that went missing after sending a distress signal from the East China Sea on Wednesday, the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo confirmed yesterday.
“39 Filipino crew members onboard the vessel. We are waiting for new updates from the Japanese authorities on the status of the rescue operation. We are praying for their safety, too,” Philippine Embassy in Tokyo Deputy Chief of Mission Robespierre Bolivar said.
Kyodo News reported that one of the ship’s Filipino crew members was earlier rescued.
His “health condition was not life-threatening”, the report said.
However, the Embassy has yet to confirm the news report.
The Panamanian-registered freighter carrying 43 foreign crewmembers and about 5,800 cows was on its way to the Chinese port of Tangshan from New Zealand when it issued a distress signal about 185 kilometers west of Amami-Oshima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture.
The crew also reportedly include two New Zealanders and two Australians.
The call for help came as strong winds and torrential rain lashed the area due to Typhoon Maysak.
“The Philippines Embassy in Tokyo and the Philippines Consulate General in Osaka are coordinating with Japan Coast Guard on this. No additional details as of this time,” Bolivar said.
Abu Dhabi blast
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) yesterday said three Filipinos who were injured in a gas explosion from a restaurant in Abu Dhabi are recovering in two separate hospitals.
Five other Filipinos who were also injured have now been discharged from the hospital, the Philippine Embassy in the United Arab Emirates reported.
The DFA, through the Embassy, continues to monitor the situation of Filipinos in the UAE and remains ready to extend assistance.
On Tuesday, two Filipinos died during a gas explosion at a restaurant in the UAE.
One of the Filipino fatalities worked the restaurant and the other was a passerby who was hit by the debris.