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Vietnamese ship sinks off Cagayan; 22 missing


MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has stepped up its search for the 22 crew members of a Vietnamese cargo vessel that sunk off Cagayan recently.

Capt. George Ursabia, PCG-North Luzon district commandant, said PCG authorities received a distress signal from M/V Vina Lines Queen on Christmas Day.

 “We are not sure when the ship sunk. We do not have any full details regarding the incident,” he said.

The ship, which came from Indonesia en route to China, is carrying more than 54 tons of nickel ore.

One crew member – Dau Ngoc Hung – was rescued by a British ship and is now in Singapore.

Urzabia told The STAR in a phone interview that the aerial search in the Babuyan Channel has been terminated because of the bad weather. But he said search and rescue operations are ongoing along the western sea area of the Ilocos Region.
A PCG plane also took off from Manila yesterday to look for the Vietnamese vessel.

Lt. Junior Grade Jay Tarriela, operations officer of PCG-Northern Luzon, said the Air Force will also send one of its OB-20 OV-10 planes, which will coming from Sangley Point in Cavite, to look for the missing crew. – Jun Elias, Eva Visperas, Artemio Dumlao, Charlie Lagasca
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The Philippine Star Updated January 06, 2012 12:00 AM

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