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Dimming Hopes For The Missing In The Sinking Of M/V Catalyn B (Update: Sunken Ship Found)

December 26, 2009

The seas were generally calm and there was no storm approaching three days ago when the inter-saland ship M/V Catalyn B sank moments after colliding with a smaller and certainly lighter fishing boat in Manila Bay.

Three bodies have been recovered from the scene of the mishap and two dozen people remain missing.

Each passing hour heightens the despair of relatives hoping to reunite with their loved ones and now questions are being raised about why the Navy or Coast Guard have no capability to undertake deep sea search operations.

If Congress were in session we most certainly be hearing loud calls for investigations ‘in aid of legislation’ to find out what happened.

Truly thee owners of Catalyn B and our maritime authorities cannot escape being slammed for possible for ‘criminal negligence as  government at large has failed to upgrade the the floating assets and search and rescue equipment of the navy and coast guard.

PCG commandant Admiral Wilfredo Tamayo:

My men do not  have the capability to extract the remains of trapped passengers, if there were any, from the sunken M/V Catalyn B.Deep-sea diving requires thermal imager and underwater communication equipment. The PCG is in the process of developing its deep-sea diving capabilities.

The Catalyn B is reportedly 228 feet underwater. Coast Guard divers can only make it to 120 to 150 feet.

I think our Third World country status, weighed down as we are by corruption, divisive politics, and over-all lack of foresight, really our compatriots at the mercy of the Grim Reaper every time they board motorized banca and even medium to moderate sized inter-island vessels.

We are an archipelago with a coastline twice the length of the continental United States

Almost each trip is an accident waiting to happen.

I hate to sound fatalistic, but until a new regime takes over the reins of government, minimizes if not eliminates corruption, and undertakes long-needed structural and policy reforms, the odds of anyone of us dying in a sea mishap will remain woefully high.

1st Update

As hopes of finding any more survivors, one seeming consolation is the location of the sunken ship where the missing are feared trapped:

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