A week ago, a yacht, the M/V Catherine had been found its crew missing. One of our sources in Palawan sent us the letter below. We publish it without any comment. Only the last sentence had been shortened because it contained a not suitable remark. Maybe one of our readers has more information. If so, please contact Mr. Thomas Gerard.
Rappler had also published an article last Saturday: Police search for 2 missing tourists, abandoned yacht found
WHAT WE KNOW: 4/30/14
On Saturday April 26th a fisherman ( Pery Cabacang) from Brgy. Tagnato – outside Aborlan ( Palawan) discovered the M/V Catherine at anchor, but no persons on board. The two occupants Stephan Okoveix and Henrike Diesen have gone missing.
This sailing couple have been going back and fourth between Sabah, Malaysia and Puerto Princesa a number of times and are experienced sailors. The weather was clear and warm with clam seas, and both persons can swim.
These missing sailing folks would anchor at this location off the coast at an unnamed island close to Aborlan. The male would come shore and ride his bicycle to the market for shopping with no drama of any kind over the years.
Subsequently, a fisherman notified the Brgy. Captain at Tagnato that he discovered the empty yacht and informed the Philippines National Police at Bataraza . According to local officials a search was conducted using aircraft and boats with zero results.
On board the yacht contained food, legal papers, passports and money all appearing that nothing was ransacked or disturbed.
Of course the local Police, Brgy. Captain, Marines, Coast Guard and God’s little helpers climbed all over the boat, so if it was a crime scene everything is lost or contaminated.
Some of the questions investigators failed to address were:
- Was the boarding ladder or swim platform up or down?
- Was the occupants cell phones on board? If not were they used after Saturday?
- Were all life jackets accounted for? Are any missing?
- Were the fenders on the yacht stored or over the side in a protective fashion?
- Was the yacht property anchored? Scope of the anchor vs. depth ( 7 to 1 is the correct number)
- The reported phone call received by the Coast Guard alleging the couple were taken by the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf … Who took the call and when? In what language ( Talsug, Tagalog, English, German?) at what phone number?
- Has any other yacht(s) now anchored at the Puerto Princesa Yacht Club have anything to add?
- It was also reported that the dingy was moored to the yacht. (Confirmed on deck)
- Has any ATM cards belonging to the victims been used after Saturday?
10. Passport copies on board but originals not found this date. (Could be hidden on board?)
So let us look at the possible scenarios:
- One occupant fell overboard the other entered the water to assist without a life jacket. ( Comment: Both are swimmers and if they could not get back on board the yacht, but short swim to shore. )
- They could have swum to the land close by. In the worst scenario at least one would have survived.
At present ( 5/2/14) the yacht is being towed back to Puerto Princesa City and may or maybe be stored by Philippine authorities. Abanica Yacht Club wishes to take charge of the yacht.
So a big mystery, but most likely criminal activity.