Personnel of the Coast Guard Substation (CGSS) in El Nido rescued 10 foreign tourists and four locals in Matinloc Island after their boat sank while it was maneuvering to anchor off Hidden Beach on Sunday morning.
The CGSS, which launched a search and rescue (SAR) operation after receiving a report at around 10:30 a.m., said all of the passengers of the motor boat Tame Boy had managed to swim to shore at Hidden Beach.
“On or about 12 p.m., the SAR team found the 10 passengers and its four crew stranded in the said beach and all were in good physical condition,” the spot report from the CGSS stated.
Motorboat captain Jessie Ebajon told authorities they were trying to secure the boat before unloading their passengers when they reached Hidden Beach when his anchor line was cut off and he lost control of the boat, which was rammed by the waves on the rocks causing it to sink.
The tourists aboard, composed of five Brazilians, four Australians, and a Portuguese, saved themselves by treading water quickly to the beach.
When asked why the motorboat was allowed to sail for island hopping despite unfavorable condition, Ens. Harvey Marmol, commander of the CGSS El Nido, said they are only allowed to suspend trips when Signal No. 1 is declared.
“Per Memorandum Circular 02-13, PCG (Philippine Coast Guard) is only allowed to suspend trips or island hopping when Signal no. 1 is raised by PAGASA. In this case, no typhoon signal had been raised,” he said.