Singaporean diving experts join PCG retrieval team for M/V Catalyn B

January 2, 2010 1:10 am 

MANILA, Jan. 1 –A team of divers from Singapore on Friday joined the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in retrieval operation at the site where M.V Catalyn B sunk last Dec. 24 off Libones Island.

The retrieval teams will use remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROV) to determine the condition of the ship and as well as the exact location of the bodies trapped inside the vessel.

Lieutenant Commander Armand Balilo, PCG spokesman, said diving experts from Singapore and the PCG team would try to get a clearer picture of the condition of the M/V Catalyn B and the passengers trapped inside the ship using ROV.

An ROV is equipped with underwater camera that is attached to a monitor to be positioned on board a ship.

The PCG, meanwhile, will continue to comply with the standard 10 days for search and rescue (SAR) operations despite the fact that chances of survival decreases.

With no development as to the finding of more survivors and bodies, Admiral Wilfredo Tamayo, PCG commandant, said they would not give up to find survivors.

Tamayo said death toll remained at three with 24 still missing and 46 survivors.

The three fatalities were identified as Beverly Cabinillo, 36; Relly Morales, 71; and Welmar Tanayan, 27.

American national Matt Caldwell, who holds the rank of captain in the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary (PCGA), has sighted 12 bodies trapped inside the submerged vessel.

Tamayo said the PCG could not add the 12 bodies to the list of fatalities until their retrieval.

Balilo said they have to determine the exact location of the sunken vessel before they would be sending divers to do the deep sea diving for the extraction of the bodies.

M/V Catalyn B , owned and operated by San Nicolas Shipping Lines, left Pier 2 of North Harbor, Manila at around 9 p.m. of Dec. 23, bound for Tilik, Lubang Island, Mindoro. It collided with a fishing vessel FV Anatalia at the vicinity of Limbones Island.

The two vessels met at the mouth of the Manila Bay at around 2:25 a.m. Dec. 24. The M/V Catalyn B was on its way out of the bay while the F/V Anatalia was entering the bay. (PNA) RMA/FFC/JES

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