SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union – The Naval Forces Northern Luzon (NFNL) said Wednesday, January 22, it was still searching for the 7 Filipino fishermen reported missing since January 14 in the waters off Pangasinan.
NFNL Commander Commodore Caesar Bernard N. Valencia said the Navy had continously searched the West Philippine Sea from January 17 to 20. He said he dispatched all available naval and air assets and personnel near the area to conduct search and rescue operation and maritime aerial surveillance.
Since Valencia is also head of Task Force Karagatan he has coordinated with the Philippine National Police Maritime Region 1 (Ilocos Region), Philippine Coast Guard Northern Luzon and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Region 1.
On January 21, the Navy ships PC388 and PB322 stationed at Sual fish port in Pangasinan were deployed to scour the coast of Pangasinan to Ilocos Sur.
The operation was temporarily terminated 7 pm due to unfavorable sea condition.
Initial reports said the fishermen left for sea onboard F/B Narem 2 on January 6.
However, Christine Macaraig, the owner of the banca, said they failed to return to Infanta, Pangasinan on their expected date of arrival on January 14.
The missing crew were identified as Captain Alberto Roldan, Roderick Montemayor, Homar Maglantay, Ejay Dela Cruz, Jerome Maglantay, Larry Legaspi, and Jefferson Bernabe.
Macaraig said in her last radio communication with F/B Narem 2 on January 13, the crew told her they encountered big waves.
The boat’s last reported location was 60 nautical miles off Camaso Island in Dasol, Pangasinan.
As of this posting, the crew of F/B Narem 2 has not been found.
NFNL asked local fishermen in the area to report immediately to any local authorities if they locate the missing fishermen.
“We will not stop giving assistance, sending our Naval assets to locate the missing fishermen,” said Valencia. – Rappler.com