MANILA — Five Filipino seafarers were reported missing by the Department of Foreign Affairs after abandoning their burning cargo vessel off Hawaii.
According to Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Elmer Cato, the seamen have yet to be found two weeks since the incident occurred.
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 Eve – some 1,800 nautical miles northwest of Oahu.
Cato said a tugboat and another vessel had been sent to the area to locate the five missing sailors.
The 16 other Filipino seafarers were rescued by the United States Coast Guard and other passing merchant vessels.
Cato said most of the rescued seafarers have already returned to the Philippines.
Sincerity Ace was en route to Hawaii from Japan and was carrying 3,500 brand new vehicles when the fire broke out, forcing the crew to abandon ship.
Joyce Ann L. Rocamora /PNA-northboundasia.com