MANILA (UPDATE) – Two Filipino survivors from a cargo ship that sank off Japan amid a storm earlier this week were already in contact with their families, according to authorities.
Meanwhile, one body, "believed to be that of another Filipino crew," was retrieved but has yet to be identified, the Department of Labor and Employment said, citing a report from the Philippine Labor Office in Osaka.
The first to be rescued was the ship’s chief officer Eduardo Sareno, from Oslob, Cebu. He remains at the hospital and will be brought to a hotel for his quarantine later this week. Sareno was also provided with a mobile phone to communicate with his family in the Philippines.
The second survivor was identified as Jay-Nel Rosales, 30.
Rosales, a native of Cebu who works as a deck crew, was rescued by patrol boat Kaimon. He is stable and able to walk on his own, according to a POLO report.
“We are in touch with the next of kin of the crew and we are providing them all the help we can give, including the latest information on the search and rescue operation for our kababayans being done by Japanese authorities,” Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said in a statement Saturday.
The Philippine Embassy in Tokyo, the Philippine Consulate General in Osaka and the POLO continue to monitor the situation.
The Department of Foreign Affairs said it was coordinating with the owner of the Panamanian-flagged ship and the manning agency to extend support for the Filipino seafarers and their families.
Meanwhile, the Japanese Coast Guard was forced to suspend its search and rescue operations for the missing sailors due to the expected arrival of a strong typhoon.
Typhoon 10, described as a violent storm, will be reaching Japan anytime soon.
The sunken ship's crew was made up of 39 Filipinos, 2 New Zealanders and 2 Australians. The boat was traveling from Napier in New Zealand to the Chinese port of Tangshan.
It issued a distress call early Wednesday as Typhoon Maysak passed through the area, setting off a desperate search for the 43 crew on board.
– With a report from Agence France-Presse