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Search for missing Pinoy seafarers in ship that sank off Vietnam in January stopped - Baldoz

The bodies of two crew members aboard the Bulk Jupiter were carried to Vung Tau Town's shore on Sunday afternoon. NGUYEN LONG/Thanh Nien News
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA - The owner of MV Bulk Jupiter has called off the search in Vietnam for 16 missing seafarers who sank with the ship last January 2, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said in a news release.

The Vietnam rescue ships have left the site, she said.

"Alexander Querol, chief operating officer of Magsaysay Maritime Corporation, the local manning agency of Gearbulk Norway, owner of MV Jupiter, wrote to sat the company has stopped looking for the ship. He also informed me that Gearbulk has already arranged for the benefits of the relatives of the Filipino seafarers," Baldoz said.

“And with the help of DOLE, the families of the victims have received these benefits,” she added.

The Department of Labor and Employment has facilitated the release of P52,928,100 benefits to the dependents and heirs of 11 Filipino seafarers .

Gearbulk Norway also promised to provide additional benefits, particularly scholarships to children or siblings of the seafarers, Querol said in his letter to Baldoz.

The 11 missing Filipino seafarers were among 18 Filipinos on board the ship when it sank.

“As we promised, the families of the victims will receive all the benefits specified in their contracts and the collective bargaining agreement between the ship owner and the Associated Marine Officers and Seafarers Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP), where the said seafarers were members,” said Baldoz.

Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) said the ship was made up of 19 crew members. One of them, chief cook Angelito Rojas, survived and is now undergoing physical therapy, the cost of which Gearbulk Norway is shouldering.

In his letter, Querol said Gearbulk Norway has declared that the missing seafarers are gone. “The remains of ship captain Ronel Acueza Andrin, were cremated in Manila while those of chief officer Renner Carl Resos Abogadi were buried in his hometown in Leyte.

Gearbulk and Magsaysay Maritime Corp. offered a memorial service for those who survived the seafarers. High officials of the two companies, led by Gearbulk’s Kristin Jebsen, attended the service.

With around 300,000 Filipino seafarers, the probability is high that one would be on board a ship that meets an accident anywhere in the world, she said.