Japan Embassy clarifies report that rescue ops for missing crew members of Gulf Livestock 1 have stopped

Marje Pelayo   •   September 11, 2020   •   237

MANILA, Philippines — The Embassy of Japan in Manila on Thursday (September 10) clarified reports from various media outfits that the Japanese Coast Guard has called off the search and rescue operation on the missing crew members of Gulf Livestock 1.

Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines, Koji Haneda, tweeted that the search and rescue continues.

“Japan Coast Guard is still continuing the Search and Rescue Operation on the Gulf Livestock 1 case. We pray for additional rescues, as many as possible. My thoughts are with the missing crew, their families, and people of the Philippines,” the Japanese official said.

Also on Thursday, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the Japanese Coast Guard has decided to “transition from full-time search operations” to “usual patrol arrangements” following unsuccessful recoveries since September 5.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), through the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo and the Philippine Consulate General in Osaka, wishes to report that the Japanese Coast Guard has decided to transition from full-time search operations for the crew of the missing vessel Gulf Livestock-1 to its usual patrol arrangements as they have found no trace of the ship since 05 September 2020,” the DFA said.

Gulf Livestock 1, a Panamanian-flagged vessel, was lost at sea on September 2 carrying nearly 6,000 live cows and crew members comprised of 39 Filipinos, two New Zealanders and one Australian and one Singaporean.

Two of the Filipino crewmen were rescued alive while a third person later identified as a Filipino national was declared dead on September 5. 

PH seeks rescue assistance from China, S. Korea, Taiwan to locate missing seafarers from sunken Gulf Livestock 1

Marje Pelayo   •   September 25, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said it has sought the assistance of national Coast Guards from China, South Korea and Taiwan to help locate the Filipino crew men of the livestock cargo vessel that sank off south-western Japan.

 In a meeting on Thursday (September 25), Bello assured the kin of missing seafarers that the government is doing its best to find the answers as to what happened to their loved ones. 

“I know you’re in a very difficult situation, but there’s hope,” Bello told wives, siblings and parents of the missing seafarers.

Prior to this, the Japanese Coast guard, which found three Filipino mariners—two survivors and one fatality—announced that it has stopped its special operations for the remaining crew —36 Filipinos, two Australians and two New Zealanders–of the ill-fated MV Gulf Livestock 1.

“So don’t give up on your loved ones because there’s really hope. Three foreign governments are helping us find them,” Bello, who requested the assistance abroad, said

Huang Xilian, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China, said China has already commenced rescue operations.

The Chinese government announced, however, that they have not found any sign of the missing seafarers during their rescue operations on September 19 and 20. 

Meanwhile, Taiwan’s Ambassador Peiyung Hsu told Belo his request was immediately conveyed to the Taiwan Coast Guard (TCG).

“Rest assured that your good office will be kept posted on any findings or developments of the said operations,” he said.

Meanwhile, South Korean Ambassador Han Dong-Man in response to Bello’s request said he has already forwarded the endorsement to their Ministry of Foreign Affairs for proper action.

“I am hoping that our government’s participation in any search and rescue operation that may be conducted will shed light on the status of the missing crew,” the official added.

Given these developments, families of the missing mariners thanked Bello for giving them hope. Each family of the victims present during the meeting was given financial assistance by DOLE through the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).

Rescued Filipino seafarers of missing livestock vessel arrive in PH

Marje Pelayo   •   September 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign (DFA) on Saturday (September 20) received the two rescued crew members of the missing Panamanian-flagged vessel Gulf Livestock-1 that sank off the coast of Japan.

The two seafarers, chief officer Eduardo Sareno and deckhand Jay-nel Rosales, were found by the Japanese Coast Guard (JCG) after their vessel capsized on September 2 amid the lashing of Typhoon Maysak in the East China Sea.

The JCG temporarily suspended the rescue operations due to the onslaught of Typhoon Haishen but since its resumption on September 7, authorities have found no clue of the missing vessel nor any of the remaining crew members as of this writing.

The DFA, through the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs (OUMWA) and Philippine representatives in Japan, closely coordinated with the local manning agency, the ship owner and the Japanese Coast Guard during the conduct of search operations and the eventual recovery and repatriation of the two Filipino seafarers.

The missing vessel was carrying 43 crew members in total comprised of 39 Filipinos, two Australians and two nationals from New Zealand.

Apart from Sereno and Rosales, another Filipino was recovered on September 4 but was later confirmed dead according to the DFA.

READ: Recovered body linked to missing vessel in Japan is Filipino — DFA

The two seafarers were treated at the Kagoshima-ken Kenritsu Ooshima Hospital and later on transferred to  Hotel New Amami while waiting for their repatriation.

Japan Coast Guard stops search ops for crew of missing cargo vessel

Robie de Guzman   •   September 10, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Japanese Coast Guard has ended its full-time search operations for the missing crew of a cargo vessel that sank off southwestern Japan, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Thursday.

In a statement, the DFA said the Japanese Coast Guard has transitioned to its usual patrol arrangements as they have found no trace of the ship since Sept. 5.

“The DFA joins the families and loved ones in continued prayers for the missing seafarers,” it said.

Reports said the 11,947-ton Gulf Livestock 1 ship was carrying 5,800 cows west of the western coast of Amami Oshima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture when it made a distress call on September 2. The cause of the distress is still unknown but the weather and seas were rough in the area due to Typhoon Maysak.

The vessel was carrying 43 crew members, 39 of whom are Filipinos.

The Japanese Coast Guard earlier found the remains of a Filipino sailor, while two were rescued.

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