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PCG joins search for missing Taiwanese vessel

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Monday said it has deployed search and rescue (SAR) teams to find a missing Taiwanese-flagged fishing vessel.

In a statement, the PCG said Sheng Feng No. 128, with one Taiwanese and five Indonesian fishermen on board, was last seen 414 nautical miles northwest of Palau on February 17.

Taiwan Coast Guard Attaché Commander Arthur Yang requested assistance from the PCG.

The PCG Command Center then directed Coast Guard Districts in Eastern Visayas, Bicol, Southeastern Mindanao, Northeastern Mindanao, and Northeastern Luzon to launch SAR operations.

According to Yang, two US Coast Guard (USCG) aircraft conducted air surveillance and a commercial vessel completed a search in the area, but both failed to find the missing vessel.

Eight Taiwanese fishing vessels joined the operations while two Taiwan Coast Guard (TCG) cutters were on the way to search the vicinity waters, he added.

The Coast Guard Aviation Force meanwhile dispatched Cessna Caravan 2081 Monday morning for aerial surveillance within the vicinity waters of Eastern Visayas and Bicol regions.

According to PCG, there is a possibility that the missing Taiwanese vessel drifted towards the eastern seaboard of the Philippines. —Joviland Rita/ VAL, GMA Integrated News