US Rescue Teams Join Search for Missing Crew, Including Filipinos, of South Korean Fishing Boat

SEOUL — US rescue teams have joined an increasingly desperate search for 52 people, including 10 Filipinos, missing from a South Korean trawler that sank in freezing waters off Russia’s far eastern coast, Seoul’s foreign ministry said Wednesday.

A US coastguard plane was already on the scene in the Bering Sea and a US vessel specialized in search and rescue operations was due to arrive early Thursday, a ministry official told AFP.

They will join five ships that have been searching the area since the 1,753-ton Oryong 501 trawler, with 60 people on board, went down in rough seas on Monday morning.

The discovery of four empty, damaged lifeboats has fuelled concerns that the missing crewmembers were pitched into the icy waters when the boat sank.

Those onboard included 11 South Koreans, 35 Indonesians,13 Filipinos and a Russian identified by Russian news agencies as a fisheries inspector.

The body of one Korean has been recovered, while the Russian inspector and six foreign crewmembers were rescued.

Three of the Filipinos have been confirmed among the rescued and were identified Rowell Aliecera, 30, Teddy Parangue Jr., 31, and Micol Sabay, 39.

Rescuers also saw one body floating in the area but were not able to recover it due to storm conditions, according to Oleg Karev of the marine rescue center in the port of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, which is participating in the rescue mission.

(Source: Agence France-Presse – InterAksyon)

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