By Betheena Kae Unite
Search and rescue operation for a missing Filipino crew member of a foreign ship, who allegedly fell off Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental over a week ago, is still on, the Philippine Coast Guard said Wednesday.
According to the Coast Guard, they are “still searching for the missing crew of a foreign vessel named Merchant Vessel Grande Progreso.”
Authorities identified the missing chief mate as Dominador Calot Fuentes III, 33, of Barangay Baliangao, Misamis Oriental
Investigation showed that Fuentes allegedly fell overboard off Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental while the vessel was on its way to Brazil in January 15.
The Japanese flagged vessel then informed Vessel Traffic Management System (VTMS) Misamis Oriental that one of their chief mates went missing onboard the vessel at around 6 p.m. that day, the Coast Guard said.
A team from Coast Guard Sub-Station (CGSS) Opol in Misamis Oriental was deployed to check the vicinity off Laguindingan to search for Fuentes but to no avail.
Three days later, a team from CGSS Tagoloan and Coast Guard K-9 Northern Mindanao launched an investigation off Villanueva Point.
Captain Benedict Gepulango told the authorities that while MV Grande Progreso was drifting off Laguindingan to Villanueva Philippine Center for anchoring at 3:20 p.m., they noticed that Fuentes was missing. They then suspected that he fell from the vessel.
All vessels and fisherfolks transiting on the area were advised to be on the look-out for the missing crew member.