2 Pinoy survivors of ill-fated cargo ship assured of assistance

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    THE Labor Department yesterday assured two Filipino survivors of the ill-fated cargo ship that sank off the turbulent waters of Japan early this month of livelihood assistance and other benefits.

    In a statement, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the government will provide full support to Chief Officer Eduardo Sareno and deck crew Jay-nel Rosales, who survived the sinking of the cargo ship Gulf Livestock 1 in Japanese waters.

    On Saturday, Sareno and Rosales were flown home via Philippine Airlines from Tokyo weeks after surviving the sinking of the Panamanian-registered vessel.

    The ship, manned by 39 Filipinos, two Australians and two New Zealanders, was carrying about 5,800 cattle when it experienced engine trouble during a typhoon.

    A third Filipino crew, Joel Canete Linao, was also found dead. His remains were repatriated last Friday.

    The rest of the crew are still missing and are presumed dead.

    Bello said they have started coordinating with foreign employers in need of Filipino seafarers “in case they want to get back at work as soon as possible.” Bello said.

    Bello said the courage shown by Sereno and Rosales is proof of the bravery and undying spirit of Filipino seafarers.

    “We admire the never-say-die attitude of our seamen in the face of great danger, a trait common to many Filipinos, particularly our OFWs,” Bello said.

    “Filipino seafarers are one of the bravest in the world. That’s why many employers prefer their company at sea,” he added.