By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The family of a missing Negrense sailor from a ship that sank off the coast of Japan last week is not giving up hope of finding him alive.
Margarita Payas, mother of missing 32-year-old Andren Payas, said Andren’s wife Justine Marie last made contact with her husband on September 1.
According to Justine, Andren told her that the seas were rough wherein the waves were as high as buildings. Her husband also said that they had to tie down some of their equipment to keep them from shifting and added that he has already no plans to further extend his contract.
By September 2, Andren and his crew mates could no longer be contacted and his family later learned that his ship had sunk.
Margarita had not been sleeping for the past few nights, anxious for news on Andren.
She had last contacted her son during her birthday last month. Her son sent money to the family for a small birthday celebration.
Based on the initial information provided by the Japan Coast Guard, the ship Gulf Livestock 1 sent a distress signal before sinking off the coast of Amami OshimaIsland in the Ryukyu islands chain in Japan after being caught in Typhoon “Maysak.”
The ship, a livestock carrier, was loaded with almost 6,000 cattle and was headed for China. It was crewed by 39 Filipino sailors, two from New Zealand and two from Australia.
As of Saturday, September 5, two Filipino crew members, identified as Eduardo Sareno and Jay-nel Rosales, were rescued.
According to Sareno, the ship was hit by a huge wave.
On Saturday, Department of Foreign Affairs said the Japanese Coast Guard has temporarily suspended its search and rescue operations for other missing sailors from a sunken cargo ship due to the expected arrival of Typhoon “Haishen.”/DGB, WDJ