BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Thirty-five passengers of three capsized motorized boats have been rescued on Sunday within the territorial waters of Sagay and San Carlos cities in Negros Occidental.
Twenty-five of them were rescued after the motorboats they were riding sunk between the territorial waters of Molocaboc Island and Sagay City, according to initial reports of the Sagay City Disaster Risk and Reduction Management Office (DRRMO).
The rescued passengers were brought by their rescuers to Brgy. Vito in Sagay City, the city’s DRRMO reports added.
Three Bantay Dagat Seaborne patrol boats, another one from Molocaboc Island and three more boats from Brgy Vito, all in Sagay City, along with rescue volunteers and Philippine Coast Guard personnel, joined the rescue mission.
Ten passengers of a privately-owned motorized banca that capsized yesterday off the coast of Zone 1 in Brgy. 6, San Carlos City, Negros Occidental, were all accounted for according to PCG.
The sinking of the motorized boats was attributed by the PCG to bad weather, triggered by a localized thunderstorm.
The local trips between San Carlos City poblacion and Sipaway Island were immediately suspended after the incident.
However, it was later lifted upon the recommendation of the Hazard Monitoring Team and affirmed by the PCG- San Carlos City Substation and Task Force Bantay Dagat, because of improved weather conditions.
While sea conditions are now safe for small banca, the PCG however imposed safety or precautionary measures, such as wearing of life vests and the no overloading policy to be strictly followed at all times.
Mayor Renato Gustilo also placed the “Poseidon” Rescue & Patrol Boat and Task Force Bantay Dagat personnel, on alert status.*