Two fishing boats, including eight of its crew, went missing while fishing in the West Philippine Sea since last week Thursday, September 22, according to the Philippine Coast Guard.(PCG) Palawan.
PCG District Palawan spokesperson Atty. Gretchen Acuario told Palawan News that they have already sent BRP Malapascua to conduct search and rescue operations near the Recto Bank (Reed Bank) Sunday, September 27, as soon as they received the report of the missing fishermen.
However, the rescue operation was aborted due to the inclement weather in the area.
“Umalis ang mga mangingisda bago magkaroon ng announcement kaugnay sa bagyong Karding noong September 22, Sabado, September 26 ng gabi ng tumawag ang city PNP mobile force sa PCG na may nawawalang mangingisda” Acuario said.
“Hindi nakarating ang barko natin na umalis para maghanap sa 8 fishermen natin sa search location dahil sa lakas ng current din talaga. Malayo din kasi ang location ng reed bank, malayo siya sa main land. Dahil sa buntot ng bagyong Karding saka pinaigting pa ng monsoon ngayon kayo hindi pa maganda ang dagat ngayon,” Acuario added..
According to Arlene Manlavi Barillo, relative of one of the fishermen, there were initially 8 fishing boats that planned to conduct a fishing expedition but only the 2 boats pursued despite the weather condition.
“Sa Reed Bank ‘yun, nasa gitna, kaya marami sila. Ang nangyari, hindi nakayanan ang malalaking alon kaya napagdisisyunan nila na bumalik sila. Dumating sila madaling araw po ng Linggo,” pahayag ng kaanak. Pero, bago sila umusad pabalik, nag-ikutan pa sila, para sabihan lahat na bumalik dahil delikado na nga,” ayon kay Barillo.
The fishermen were identified as Exequiel Bancolo, Mark Fernan Canillo, Juanito Tanguiran and Romeo Sarco aboard M/BCA Mark of Faith, while Gilbert Almorato, Jeryll Corpuz, Mark Eden Monares and Sherwin John Lojina aboard M/BCA Choi-Choi.
As of posting, the PCG has alerted all its sub-stations in the province while the search and rescue operations are put on hold.
The family of the missing fishermen remains hopeful that their relatives are still alive.