Some Filipino crew of virus-hit cruise ship in Japan may have to stay behind – DFA

Robie de Guzman   •   February 24, 2020   •   572

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Monday confirmed that the repatriation of Filipinos aboard the novel coronavirus-hit M/V Diamond Princess in Japan will push through on Tuesday, February 25, although some who work in the cruise ship may have to stay behind.

In a press briefing in Malacañang, DFA Assistant Secretary Ed Meñez said they have yet to get the final number of Filipinos aboard the cruise ship who would be repatriated on Tuesday.

The vessel’s management also gave an indication that they may need some Filipino crew members to stay behind for the ship’s continued operation and maintenance.

“Ang Diamond Cruises mismo ang nagsabi na titignan namin kung sino lang ang kailangan na crew members na essential para patuloy ang pagtakbo nung ship maintenance siguro pero lahat ng di essential kailangan ay nang umuwi,” he said.

Repatriated Filipinos from the cruise ship will be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine period at a facility in New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac.

A total of 538 Filipinos – 531 crew members and seven passengers – were on the ship when it was placed under quarantine in Yokohama, Japan earlier this month after one of its passengers tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Of this number, 400 have expressed the desire to avail of the Philippine government’s repatriation program while some manifested their intent to remain on the ship, according to Meñez.

Department of Health (DOH) Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said they have also received information that some Filipino crew members are still allowed to perform their job even while the ship was on quarantine.

“They have said that some of these crew members were allowed to do their functions like serving food going and bringing these different provisions for the passengers,” she said.

As of Monday, February 24, the number of Filipino found infected with the disease has climbed to 59.

Two have been discharged from the hospital after recovering from the illness. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

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.

1 of 39 Filipino seafarers in missing vessel off Japan rescued — DFA

Marje Pelayo   •   September 4, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirmed on Thursday (September 3) that one of the 39 Filipino crew members of the missing Panamanian-flagged cargo vessel off the waters of Japan has already been rescued.

The DFA made the confirmation through the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo and the Philippine Consulate General in Osaka.

The agency also confirmed that they made a distress call on Wednesday (September 2) from Amami Oshima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture before it disappeared.

The DFA assured that the Consulate General in Osaka is closely monitoring the situation as search and rescue operations for the missing vessel continue. 

The Japanese Coast Guard has already deployed patrol boats and airplanes and is launching a second search and rescue mission prior to the expected incoming typhoon.

The DFA Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs (OUMWA) and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Osaka are in close coordination with Korpil Ship Management and Manning Corp., the local manning agency, in ascertaining the condition of the Filipino seafarers.

Japan Coast Guard searching for missing ship with 39 Filipino sailors

Robie de Guzman   •   September 3, 2020

Gulf Livestock 1 vessel that went missing off southwestern Japan after departing from Napier on August 14, 2020. Photo/VesselFinder

MANILA, Philippines – The search operations of the Japanese Coast Guard for a missing livestock vessel with 43 crew members onboard is still ongoing, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Thursday.

Citing a report from the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo and the Philippine Consulate General in Osaka, the DFA confirmed reports that a Panamanian-flagged cargo vessel went missing off southwestern Japan.

The DFA said the Japanese Coast Guard already deployed patrol boats and airplanes to conduct the search for the missing ship.

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

So far, one Filipino was reported to have been rescued by the Japanese Coast Guard.

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 DFA said the Consulate General in Osaka is monitoring the situation.

The Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Osaka is also coordinating with local manning agency, Korphil Ship Management and Manning Corp. in ascertaining the condition of the Filipino seafarers. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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