Philippines: Many Seafarers Still Missing After A Month Of Typhoon Odette

M/V Strong Trinity

About 29 days after Typhoon Odette, there is no trace of M/V Strong Trinity (Tug) when it had gone missing with 12 seafarers off Talisay City in Cebu. Captain Alvin Dagalea, the Cebu Commander, mentioned on 14 January this year, the Philippine Navy had used SONAR for detecting the vessel. However, it failed to find the tugboat that was owned by the company named Key West Shipping Line Corp.

PCG Cebu is not ready to abandon its search mission for the Tug Strong Trinity.

M/V Ida

MV Ida, a tugboat, sank off Barangay Tayud in northern Cebu. The number of missing crewmen has dwindled to three when one had been found on the shores in one of the islands off Bohol’s Buenavista and Getafe.

MV Strong Trinity crew members
Image Credits: Flora Mae Villamor Torres – Facebook

PCG’s Bohol Commander named Ensign Edzel Gonzaga could identify the person as Ronel Odal Fernandez, 25, from Talisay City in Cebu.

The PCG Cebu had earlier identified one of the missing members to be Roniel Saavedra. Gonzaga, however, mentioned that Unlink Shipping management, the owner of M/V Ida, had declared that Ronel Fernandez is one of one the missing members.

Fernandez was discovered by residents between 21 and 23 December, last year.

The other missing crew members of MV Ida are chief mate Richard Marilao; oiler Artemio Bondaog; and the crane operator Rolly Cornejos.

M/V St. Padre Pio

During the same phase, a missing member of M/V St. Padre Pio was discovered by residents in one of the two islands in Bohol, off Getafe and Buenavista.

Gonzaga could identify the crew member as Armando Rubio, 26, from Bien Unido in Bohol. Rubio was one of the 14 seamen to abandon the vessel with the onset of Typhoon Odette. Eight members could survive by frantically swimming to the shore in their life jackets.

As reported at 10 am on Friday, 14 January, five crewmen continued to be missing.

M/V St. Padre Pio, a cargo vessel, was coming from Naga City in Cebu as Typhoon Odette struck Central Visayas on 26 December last year. It was loaded with 28,000 cement sacks when it took anchor in Getafe, joining about 50 other sea vessels for shelter from the disastrous storm.

When Typhoon Odette struck, M/V St. Padre Pio was the vessel that sank. Other vessels had either had capsized or had run aground. Gonzaga said that almost 40 vessels are yet to be retrieved by shipping enterprises from the region.

Similarly, Medallion Shipping is yet to retrieve the vessel M/V St. Padre Pio.

Signal woes

Gonzaga informed that the people of the island, where Rubio and Fernandez’s bodies were found carried the remains to a funeral home in Bohol.

A PCG official had to say that the news of two bodies being discovered was reported on 7 January. The reason could be poor internet and telecommunication signals in the region.

Some Getafe residents get undisturbed cellular network if they go to Buenavista.

Rubio’s and Fernandez’s relatives claimed the bodies on 8 January and 10 January, respectively.

‘Lite Ferry 10’ missing captain

In December 2021, Raul Mission’s son, the captain of M/V Lite Ferry 10 who had been missing when the vessel capsized off Loon, mentioned that his father was the one missing individual of the 27 crewmen. The post was made on Facebook.

Gonzaga reported that Mission’s body was discovered in one of the many coastal barangays in Loon several days following Typhoon Odette.

Mission was separated from the crew when he wished to abandon ship.


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