Coast Guard ends search for 7 missing in sea tragedy
- Evelyn Macairan () - October 2, 2009 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) commandant Admiral Wilfredo Tamayo yesterday officially terminated the search and rescue operation for the seven passengers still missing from the ill-fated M/V SuperFerry 9.

Exactly 25 days after the vessel sank off the Zamboanga Peninsula, Tamayo said he has accepted the recommendation of PCG Zamboanga District Commander Rodolfo Isorena that they call off the search and rescue operation.

“I would accept the recommendation of Commander Isorena that we terminate the operation since there has no longer been any changes or developments for the last 15 days,” Tamayo said.

There were a total of 971 people on board the M/V SuperFerry 9 during the tragedy. Of the number, there were 960 survivors, 10 fatalities and seven missing.

“We would also be pulling out the two remaining vessels that stayed in the area until the (operation was) officially terminated yesterday. These are the BRP Corregidor and Tugboat 271,” he said.

There was also no report of an oil spill in the area.

As for the vessel that remained submerged 4,500 feet under the water, Tamayo said they have yet to discuss with their technical team and finalize plans on what to do with the sunken ship.

Investigation showed that the 7,268 gross ton M/V SuperFerry 9 left General Santos last Sept. 5 for a two-day voyage to Iloilo. It was expected to arrive at the Iloilo port at around 1 p.m. of Sept. 6, Sunday.

However, at around 3:30 a.m. of Sept. 6, the vessel tilted 25 degrees toward its starboard side.

The vessel sank at around 9:30 a.m. or six hours after the passengers were ordered to abandon the ship.

ADMIRAL WILFREDO TAMAYO COMMANDER ISORENA CORREGIDOR AND TUGBOAT GENERAL SANTOS ILOILO OPERATION PHILIPPINE COAST GUARD TAMAYO VESSEL ZAMBOANGA DISTRICT COMMANDER RODOLFO ISORENA ZAMBOANGA PENINSULA
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