MANILA – Five Filipino nationals are among the 39 missing crewmembers of a Chinese vessel that capsized on Tuesday in the Indian Ocean, the Chinese Embassy in Manila confirmed Wednesday.
Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian said their government has deployed an emergency response team as it coordinates international maritime search and rescue operations.
“Sad to learn reports of the capsizing of a Chinese fishing vessel, the Lu Peng Yuan Yu 028 (LPY28), where 39 sailors, including 17 Chinese and 5 Filipino citizens were confirmed missing,” he said in a statement.
“By the directives of Chinese President Xi Jinping, China immediately activated the emergency response mechanism, verifying the situation, sending more rescue forces, coordinating international maritime search and rescue assistance, and making every effort to contact all relevant local parties and coordinate the search and rescue work,” he added.
Huang said two Chinese vessels have arrived near the last known location of the sunken fishing boat and are conducting investigations and search and rescue operations.
Huang said the Embassy is also in close coordination with the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Philippine Coast Guard.
“We pray for the safety of all the sailors as we continue with the operations and coordination,” he said. (PNA)