Operator of capsized motorbanca still missing, PCG-7 suspends rescue ops due to bad weather
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The operator of the motorbanca which capsized on the evening of November 8, 2021, has remained missing after almost 20 hours of search and rescue operations by the Philippine Coast Guard in Central Visayas (PCG-7).
Lieutenant Junior Grade Erick Salcedo, the spokesperson of the PCG-7, said that the missing passenger has not been found as of 7:50 p.m. on November 9, 2021.
The PCG-7 already deployed its vessels at the Hilutungan Channel to search for the missing operator, identified as Jefrel Butalid, 28, hailing from San Vicente, Olango Island, Lapu-Lapu City, but to no avail.
Due to bad weather conditions, the PCG-7 has decided to temporarily stop the search and rescue operations until the weather is calmer.
“However, continuous coordination with coastal barangays and fisherfolks is being conducted,” said Salcedo.
The eight passengers, who were rescued by a vessel en route to Tagbilaran City, Bohol, have already arrived in Cebu past 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday safely.
They arrived in Pier Uno in Cebu City and were brought to Lapu-Lapu City upon docking.
“Yung 8 na rescued kanina dumating na sa Cebu at 5:30 pm po. Sinundo ng CDRRMO (City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office) Lapu-Lapu agad,” said Salcedo.
The passengers were en route to Punta Engaño port in Lapu-Lapu City from Olango Island when the capsizing occurred.
It is not yet clear how long the individuals were at sea following the incident and PCG-7 continues to investigate the capsizing.
Here are the names of the rescued individuals:
John Lord Tamsi, 17
Dennis Goden, 30
Alex Padilla, 38
Giovanne Amistad, 30
Montano Paorco, 52
Chunguyan Casquejo, 30
Cleto Limosnero, 57
Jose Rex Calderon, 48
Arnel Balingit, 43
At least one of the survivors was rescued in Punta Engaño port because he swam for the shore when the motorbanca capsized, bringing the total number of rescued individuals to nine.
Salcedo said they are still looking into the permits of the motorbanca and whether it was legally allowed to cross the Hilutungan Channel that night.
The motorbanca operator maybe facing charges, but as he is not yet found, the PCG-7 said they cannot be sure if the charges will be filed at all. /rcg
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