Continuous and swift rescue operations to save more lives in sunken ship
A continuous and swift search and rescue operation is needed to salvage the passengers and crew of the Superferry 9 that tilted off Zamboanga Peninsula, Senator Richard J. Gordon (Ind.) today said.
Gordon, chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC), said they are closely working with the Philippine Navy (PN), the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Philippine Air Force (PAF) to assist in the rescue operations and to provide the necessary relief to rescued victims.
"In these times of tragedies, we need to work together and we need to work fast so that we can save more lives. The Philippine National Red Cross is closely working with the Philippine Navy, Philippine Coast Guard and the Philippine Air Force to make this possible," Gordon said.
"We have already mobilized our staff and volunteers in Zamboanga Del Norte, Zamboanga City, Zamboanga Sibugay and General Santos City to immediately attend to the needs of the victims and assist their families who are worriedly looking for them," he added.
According to reports from the PNRC Operations Center, the Superferry 9 bound for Iloilo, which had 847 passengers and 117 crew, departed the port of General Santos at 8:45 a.m. Saturday. It was reported in distress at around 4 in the morning on Sunday. It tilted for hours off Zamboanga Peninsula before it completely sank at about 8:30 a.m. The cause of the sinking is still unknown and the number of fatalities has yet to be confirmed..
Around 115 passengers were initially rescued by MV Ocean Integrity Cargo vessel while 400 passengers were rescued by MV Myriad. The Philippine Navy and PCG in Zamboanga City have dispatched their vessels while the PAF sent choppers for the rescue operation.
Meanwhile, PNRC chapters in Zamboanga Del Norte, Zamboanga City, Zamboanga Sibugay and General Santos City chapters already deployed ambulances to give possible first aid assistance to the victims.
Welfare desks were also set up for medical assessment, first aid, psychosocial support and tracing services to give necessary assistance to the victims and even to the families and relatives of the victims.