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Navy Searching For Hundreds Of Missing Tuna Catchers

Four ships and two planes from the Philippine Navy are searching for an estimated 300 missing tuna fishermen, after typhoon Pablo struck a huge area in southern Mindanao early last week and killed over 600 people.
The patrol vessels have already covered a large perimeter as one of the ships is currently searching 100 nautical miles from land, and the two aircrafts have already conducted four search missions reaching as far as Indonesian airspace, according to Navy officials.
The planes have been cleared to enter Indonesian airspace and some of the ships are planning to cross into Indonesian waters – where one Indonesian Navy vessel is helping with the search – once they are granted access.
The Philippine Navy is expected to deploy one other ship in the region to reinforce the rescue effort. They are also asking for another plane to replace the one that is due for a mandatory check-up.
The missing fishermen are employed by six major tuna companies in General Santos City. According to the militant fisherfolk group, Pamalakaya, the companies were warned about the incoming storm beforehand and advised to stop their fishing operations, but they chose to ignore the weather alerts.
Aside from the Navy fleet, three vessels from the Philippine Coast Guard and fishing vessels from General Santos City are assisting in the search operations.
According to the Navy, they have rescued 13 people and recovered 34 bodies as of Dec. 11.
Nearly 400,000 people have been left homeless after last week’s typhoon and 900 people are missing, including the tuna fisherman.