Five Filipino crew of sunken Chinese vessel found dead

The five Filipino crew who went missing after their Chinese vessel sank in the Indian Ocean have been found dead after a week of search and rescue operations, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Wednesday.

Ma. Teresita Daza, DFA spokesperson, said the agency is now coordinating with the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) on the repatriation and shipment of the victims' and the benefits due their families.

There were also other nationalities whose remains were recovered, she added.

On May 17, Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian reported that Chinese fishing vessel the Lu Peng Yuan Yu 028 (LPY28) capsized in the Indian Ocean. A total of 39 individuals, including 17 Chinese and five Filipinos, were part of its crew.

Citing information it received from the Chinese government, DFA said an Indian maritime patrol located the capsized fishing vessel about 1,000 kilometers south of Sri Lanka on May 18.

The governments of Australia, China, India and Sri Lanka, among others, deployed a total of 12 vessels and six aircrafts to conduct search and rescue (SAR) operations, which were eventually hindered by inclement weather, the DFA said.

On May 23, efforts were shifted from search and rescue to search and recovery given the length of time from the capsizing of the vessel.

"Several bodies were recovered by SAR assets, their nationalities remain unidentified," DFA added.