MANILA, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has terminated its search and rescue efforts for the 14 missing crewmen of a Panamian-flagged cargo vessel which recently sank off Northern Philippine Province of Pangasinan, an official said Thursday.
Captain Pablo Gonzalez, Coast Guard Northwestern Luzon district commander, said the missing Myanmar nationals were nowhere to be found in the area where M/V Harita Bauxite capsized last Sunday.
"We haven't seen any indication that there were still survivors, " he said.
Gonzales added that the rough sea condition prevented them from resuming their search and rescue operations and several witnesses said in their testimonies that some of the reported missing individuals sank together with the ill-fated vessel.
But he also expressed hope that the missing crewmen are still alive.
"Our people are still on standby from Bolinao down to Infanta, Pangasinan. We are still hoping that we could get feedback from fishermen and vessels passing by," Gonzales said.
At the moment, the official said that the PCG is closely monitoring the movement of the oil spill at the sea off Bolinao where the ship sank, adding that the rough sea condition makes it difficult for them to contain the oil spill.
The Panamian-flagged ship heading for China sank at sea near Bolinao, a town of Pangasinan, last Sunday, leaving a Malaysian crew dead and 14 crewmen missing. Nine others were rescued by a passing-by Chinese ship.
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