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28/10/2013: US COAST GUARD SEARCHING FOR FILIPINO OIL WORKER MISSING IN GULF OF MEXICO

PRESS RELEASE
WDC-099-2013
29 October 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C.—A Filipino offshore oil worker is now the subject of a search and rescue operation by the United States Coast Guard after falling off an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday evening, the Philippine Embassy said.

The Embassy said it was informed by the US Coast Guard that the search for the 38-year old Filipino welder is ongoing and involves two cutters, two helicopters, two fixed-wing aircraft and six civilian offshore supply vessels.

“We have been assured by the US Coast Guard that they are searching aggressively for our missing kababayan,” Ambassador Cuisia said. “We hope and pray that they will find him tomorrow.”

Ambassador Cuisia declined to identify the missing Filipino pending notification of his next of kin but said he is a registered overseas worker hired by Offshore Specialty Fabricators based in Houma, Louisiana.

Ambassador Cuisia said the accident comes almost a year after three Filipino oil workers died and three others were seriously injured in an explosion at another offshore oil platform also off the coast of Louisiana.

Lt. Steve Arguelles of the US Coast Guard Sector New Orleans told the Embassy that the missing Filipino accidentally fell into the Gulf of Mexico while working at the oil platform at around 7:30 p.m.

Arguelles said the accident site is located at Vermillion Block 200, some 55 miles south of Freshwater Bayou between Lake Charles and Baton Rouge and is 154 miles from last year’s accident site.

Ambassador Cuisia said the Embassy and the Philippine Consulate General in Chicago will continue to coordinate with authorities. ###