The Chinese Coast Guard vowed to continue assisting its Philippine counterpart in the ongoing search and rescue operations being undertaken for five Filipino fishermen who went missing after fishing in waters off Scarborough Shoal due to an approaching typhoon last week.
The assurance came after Chinese authorities rescued recently two Filipino fishermen from the waters near the disputed shoal in the West Philippine Sea and is now verifying their identities.
“Attaching great importance to what has happened, the Chinese side has asked Chinese boats to search in relevant waters,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said in a press briefing, a transcript of which was posted on the official website of the Chinese Embassy in Manila.
“The Chinese side will continue with the search and rescue in relevant waters.”
In its report, the Philippine Coast Guard said the fishermen were onboard F/Bca Antalan Tabat and were approximately 30 nautical miles away from Scarborough Shoal in Masinloc, Zambales before going missing last November 21.
The missing fishermen were identified as Jack Tabat, Jimmy Tabnat, Jessie Aparreci, Bimboo Requinto, Allan Rivera.
The skipper of another fishingboat reported the incident to Coast Guard Sub-station Sta. Cruz last Nov. 25
PCG Commandant Rear Admiral William Melad dispatched BRP Tubbataha (MRRV-4401) and PCG Islander to conduct search and rescue operations for the five missing fishermen.
The Coast Guard already advised all fishermen in Zambales particularly those who are fishing at the vicinity of Scarborough Shoal to be on the look out for the missing boat and to render necessary assistance if sighted.
(Roy C. Mabasa)