DUE to Tropical Storm Basyang, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Cebu Station has temporarily suspended its search and retrieval operation for the three missing children who are passengers of the motorized banca which capsized off Camotes Island on February 6.
PCG-Cebu Station Ensign Ronnie Eras said that the coast guard in Camotes and the Philippine Navy has suspended their rescue operations at 5 p.m. of Sunday for Andia De Leon, 2, Carel Palomar, 9, and Kiven Gonzaga, 4.
“We terminate muna yong search and retrieval operation namin kasi may gale warning tayo,” he said.
The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) Mactan has issued a gale warning yesterday which prohibits sea vessels from leaving port.
Eras said the operation will only resume if Pagasa lifts the gale warning.
The three children were on board M/V Habagat R bound for San Francisco, Camotes from Carmen, Cebu along with the 31 other passengers when the motorized banca was pummeled by strong waves and sank leaving at least two passengers dead.
It was found out that the motorized banca did not have enough life jackets for its 34 passengers.
The survivors though, would not file charges against the boat operator despite the PCG’s findings that the captain Romar Hermosilla and the banca owner, Rene Misa have committed at least four offenses of maritime safety laws, rules and regulations.
The violations include leaving the port without the PCG’s clearance, unregistered boat, unlicensed motorman or crew and unlicensed captain.
Hermosilla and Misa are given ten days starting Monday, to meet with PCG Cebu Station Commander Jerome Cayabyab for the adjudication process.