Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Navy joins search for missing ship

By Victor Reyes


THE Navy has joined search and rescue operations for
SF Freighter, a 498-ton cargo vessel with 16 crew
members which lost radio contact during inclement
weather last Saturday.

The Navy dispatched a twin-engine Islander plane and
two single engine Cessna planes to join the search
mission, said spokesman Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo.

The Coast Guard yesterday recovered a body of one of
the crew members.

It said Joselito Cortejos, the ship captain; Jerry
Cortez, a crane operator; and Joseph Jabonete, an
assistant engineer, were rescued at the shoreline of
Quezon province.

The Coast Guard said that according to Cortejos, the
cargo vessel developed engine trouble and was
subsequently battered by big waves and strong winds
around 1:30 a.m. It sank around 2:20 a.m.

Arevalo said search and rescue operations for the
remaining crew members are focused in the vicinity
of Dos Hermanas island.

"The expanded search area is now 900 square nautical
miles taking into account drift, then-prevailing
weather condition, and other data available," said

He said the Islander plane is now in the search area.
Arevalo said the Cessna planes had to abort "due to
strong winds and will be on standby until the weather

The BRP Rajah Humabon, the biggest Navy vessel at
present, has been sent to help in the search and rescue

Also on standby is a Diesel Fast vessel with a six-man
team of Philippine Navy Special Operations Unit (SEAL)
for immediate dispatch once sea conditions improve.