Saturday, December 15, 2012

Spy plane searches missing fishermen

GEN. SANTOS CITY, Philippines — An American navy spy plane is assisting local search and rescue efforts for hundreds of fishermen from this city and nearby Sarangani province who went missing at the height of the terrifying Typhoon Pablo last week.

The spy plane, one of Philippine-based US maritime surveillance aircrafts, was sent to the high seas off the Pacific Ocean and adjoining territorial waters on authority of the American embassy in Manila, Gen. Santos City Mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio announced Thursday.

Custodio, chair of the Task Force Maritime Search and Rescue SarGen (Sarangani-Gen. Santos City), said the P-3C Orion aircraft of the US Navy is complementing the local search for possible survivors among hundreds of fishermen caught by the strong wind of Typhoon Pablo along the fishing grounds bordering the Philippines and Indonesia.

Reports showed that some fishermen have been fished off the target areas in batches, the latest of which comprised of seven fishing boat crew from this city.

Custodio said the deployment of the surveillance aircraft was facilitated by the US Agency for International Development, which has been assisting relief operations for typhoon victims in the provinces of Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental.

She said service of the US spy plane was a “big help to us” because it enables “rescue teams to cover a wider portion of the search area at the soonest possible time.”


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