Friday, March 07, 2008
The Filipino skipper of a sunken cargo ship was found dead, bringing the death toll to two from a collision in western Japan, the coast guard said. The body of the ship's captain, identified as Tomasniri D. Demandaco Jr., was recovered after it was pulled in by a fishing boat in its trawl net, the coast guard said. Three vessels -- Gold Leader, Daigo Eisei Maru, and Ocean Phoenix -- collided Wednesday in the Akashi Strait, part of Japan's Inland Sea. The 1,466-tonne Belize-registered M/V Gold Leader, a cargo ship with nine Filipino crew on board, sank. Citing a report of Philippine consul general in Tokyo Sulficio Confiado, Philippine Foreign Affairs spokesman Claro Cristobal said search and rescue operations continue for the two Filipino sailors who remain missing.
Ocean Phoenix“The Japanese Coast Guard has thus far committed four aircraft and 16 vessels to those operations. Two of the five rescued Filipino seamen are now in stable condition, the three others remain under intensive care,” Cristobal said. On Wednesday, another Filipino crew member was rescued but later died in a nearby hospital. No one was hurt on the other two ships, an oil tanker and a small boat. Cristobal said the embassy in Tokyo and the Philippine consulate general in Osaka were closely coordinating with Japanese authorities on the rescue and assistance efforts. Collisions are common in the Akashi Strait, one of Japan's busiest bodies of water that links major cities in western Japan with the Pacific Ocean.