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More Navy ships deployed for missing pilots

MANILA, Philippines – More ships from the Philippine Navy have been deployed to assist in the ongoing search for 2 pilots who went missing after their trainer plane crashed off the waters of Bataan last Friday, authorities said.

The search area has also been widened as the Navy's Patrol Gunboat 847 and an 11-meter rigid-hull inflatable boat were sent to cover at least 3 areas, according to Philippine Air Force spokesman Lt. Col. Miguel Ernesto Okol.

Okol said the vessels, which are equipped with side-scan sonar, will be maneuvered by the Naval Special Operations Group.

They will conduct the search at the sea bed, 5 kilometers north northwest of La Monja Island or between the tips of Hormos and Conchinas point in Mariveles town.

“Three sites have been targeted for dive and operations area ongoing,” said Okol. “Today, the use of an undersea remotely-operated vehicle or ROV equipped with cameras and light with strong lumens was contracted to have a better picture of the sea bed and underwater environs of the dive sites.”

Okol added that the Air Force is on standby to assist in the search operation.

The 2 pilots, whose names were not disclosed by authorities, were on a proficiency flight when their aircraft crashed Friday morning. 

Debris of the plane was later found by fishermen in the vicinity of La Monja island.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ | May 24, 2012 | Article Link


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