Indian Navy’s P8I joins hunt for missing Indian sailors off Philippines


New Delhi: The Indian Navy’s Poseidon 8-India (P8I) aircraft on Tuesday joined the search for 10 sailors missing after their ship, struck by a storm, sunk in the Pacific off the Philippines last week.

In a series of tweets, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said the P8I aircraft had reached Manila and joined the search and rescue operations for the missing sailors.

“Indian Embassy in Japan has informed me that a helicopter and 2 patrol vessels of Japan Coast Guard are engaged in search/rescue operations,” Swaraj posted.

On Friday, the 33,205-tonne ship with 26 Indians on board sent a distress signal to the Kaapse coast guard when a typhoon struck.  However, sixteen sailors were rescued by other ships nearby.

The Indian missions in the Philippines, Japan and China have launched a search for the missing crew members.

Five Indian crew members of the cargo ship “Emerald Star” are in Irene, the Philippines, and the country’s mission is bringing them to Manila before sent them back to India.

The P8I, a long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft, has an inflatable dinghy and emergency food and water supplies.

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