Search continues for missing Philippines bound sailboat

C-130 Taking off from Barbers Point

USCG File Photo

GUAM – The search continues for five missing boaters who left on an international voyage from Guam bound for Cebu, Philippines. Two U.S. Coast Guard C-130 Hercules aircraft, a U.S. Navy P-3 Orion aircraft, one U.S. Navy H-60 Seahawk helicopter, one U.S. Air Force C-12 aircraft, and the crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Sequoia are currently employed in the ongoing search for the sailboat Pineapple.

Saturday morning the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam Command Center launched a coordinated search that covered more than 60,000 square nautical miles of the Philippine Sea. The U.S. Coast Guard has received assistance from neighboring island nations including the Republic of Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia, which allowed U.S. Coast Guard aircraft to use their airfields, greatly reducing transit time into the search area. The Philippine Coast Guard is also assisting search efforts by deploying a 56-meter vessel and a BN-1 Islander aircraft to search the inland waters of the Philippines along the vessel’s intended route of travel.

Broadcasts notifying commercial vessels transiting the Philippine Sea to maintain watch for the missing boat and its crew have not yielded any sightings. The sailing vessel Pineapple is a 38-foot, twin-hulled catamaran with a white hull and white sails. The vessel has five people aboard and was last seen departing Guam Jan. 6.

The U.S. Coast Guard urges all vessels in the Philippine Sea to keep a sharp lookout, assist if possible, and report all sightings to the U.S. Coast Guard at 671-564-USCG.

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