5 Filipino seamen missing off Hawaii — DFA
MANILA, Philippines — Five Filipino seamen were reported missing after abandoning a burning cargo vessel off Hawaii on New Year’s Eve, the Department of Foreign Affairs said.
The DFA on Monday said the five were among 21 Filipino crew members of the MV Sincerity Ace who abandoned the Panamanian-flagged vessel after it caught fire on New Year’s Even about 1,800 nautical miles northwest of Oahu.
Search and rescue operations for the missing Filipino seafarers were launched by the ship’s manning agency by sending a tugboat and another vessel to the area, the DFA said.
The 16 other Filipino seamen were rescued by the United States Coast Guard and other passing merchant vessels. The DFA said most of them have returned to the Philippines.
The ship, which sailed from Japan, was carrying 3,500 brand new vehicles and was bound to Hawaii when it caught fire.
According to the DFA, the crew was forced to abandon the burning ship.
The DFA said its remains hopeful that the missing overseas Filipino workers will soon be found.
“The DFA remains hopeful that five Filipino seafarers reported missing after abandoning their burning cargo vessel off Hawaii two weeks ago would be found,” the DFA said in a statement. /muf
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