8 passengers rescued after motorbanca capsizes in waters off Olango Island

By: Rosalie Abatayo August 07,2019 - 08:42 AM

PCG Mandaue QRT check on survivors of capsized pump boat in seas off Olango Island on Wednesday, August 7, 2019. | Photo courtesy of PCG-7

CEBU CITY, Philippines — For badly wanting to return to work, eight persons forced to sail from Barangay San Vicente in Olanggo Island to mainland Mactan on Wednesday morning, August 7, 2019.

They, however, still didn’t make it to their respective jobs on Wednesday as they were caught in distress after the pumpboat that they hired capsized along the Hilutungan Channel due to huge waves.

They were later rescued by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and brought to shore safely.

The passengers risked sailing despite the prevailing suspension of all motorbanca trips from Olango Island to mainland Mactan issued by the Philippine Coast Guard District Central Visayas (PCG-7) due to the rough sea conditions.

The Hilutungan Channel.

In a Facebook post, Lapu-Lapu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (CDRRM) Officer Nagiel Bañacia said the survivors forced to sail as they have been absent from their jobs for several days now.

The survivors left Barangay San Vicente around 4 a.m. The big waves reportedly got into the boat’s engine causing it to conk out, Bañacia said.

Lieutenant Junior Grade Michael John Encina, spokesperson of the PCG-7, said their Mandaue City substation received the report of the distressed motorized pumpboat at 4:10 a.m. on Wednesday

Seven of the passengers and the two crew members of the pump boat were rescued by the PCG Mandaue Substation Quick Response Team and were brought to Hilton Port while the other passenger was rescued by another pump boat and was brought to Santa Rosa port.

Suspension remains

Encina maintained that the PCG-7 has not yet lifted the suspension of the pump boat trips due to the prevailing gale warning issued by the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).

“Coast guard station Cebu will conduct a further inquiry regarding this. But definitely po issuehan sila ng IAR (Inspection Apprehension Report) [for sailing without clearance from Coast Guard],” Encina said.

As of 5 a.m. advisory, a gale warning is still up in the seaboards of the Visayas. This means that the sea conditions range from rough to very rough in these areas and waves are expected to be as high as 4.5 meters.

Winds of up to 63 kilometers per hour are also expected along with cloudy skies, rain showers, and thunderstorms. /bmjo

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