Navy terminates SAR ops for missing M/V Maharlika II passengers

By on September 16, 2014


Capsized MV Maharlika II (screengrab from Brigada.ph)
Capsized MV Maharlika II (screengrab from Brigada.ph)

MANILA — The Philippine Navy (PN) on Tuesday announced it is terminating the search-and-retrieval (SAR) operations for the passengers of M/V Maharlika-2 which went missing when the ship sank Saturday (Sept. 13) during rough weather off Southern Leyte.

“The three ships that the PN have committed since Day 1 for the SAR operations in connection with the M/V Maharlika-2 sea mishap, BRP Alberto Navarette (PG-394), BRP Rafael Pargas (PG-379), and the Navy fastcraft vessel, DF-350, still conducted SAR operations in the incident today. However, no body was recovered. ICS (incident command system) Surigao briefing just concluded, search-and-recovery operations was terminated,” said PN public affairs office chief Lt. Cmdr. Marineth Domingo.

Navy and civilian ships have rescued 110 passengers and crewmen from the ill-fated ship.

“ICS is now shifting to monitoring and dissemination to all coastal barangays and municipalities, Philippine Coast Guard will issue Notice to Mariners,” she added.

Domingo added two of the reported missing were included and validated by the ICS leaving a total of three missing individuals.

“The Navy will be on stand-by and alert on any eventualities,” she added.

On Monday, five cadavers were recovered while another three were retrieved Sunday, bringing to a total of eight the bodies fished out of the high seas.

Five of these were identified as Ramon Molato, Nelson Custodio, Betty Bahi, Arlita Puyales and Tiffany Saberon, the two year old infant.

PCG spokesman Cmdr. Armand Balilo earlier said the bodies were turned over to the Lipata police station.

M/V Maharlika-2, a roll-on/roll-off vessel, sank in the waters of Southern Leyte last Saturday when it encountered steering problems after being battered by heavy waves triggered by Typhoon “Luis”.