Seven men extracting sand, stranded in middle of rising river in Toledo, rescued
LAPU-LAPU CITY, Philippines — Seven men were rescued after they were stranded in the middle of Hinulawan River in Barangay Cambang-ug, Toledo City at around 11:00 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 28, 2022.
The Toledo Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) identified these individuals as Isias Junior Reyes, 33; Alvin Camarig, 40; Edgar Sepada, 51; Wilfred Segarra, 51; Michael Abayao, 29; Marvin Sabanal, 40, who were extracting sand and gravel in the area; and a 12-year-old boy who was gathering firewood.
However, the water in the river had suddenly risen accompanied by a strong current.
Due to this, the stranded individuals moved to an elevated portion in the middle of the river to keep themselves safe.
The Toledo BFP, headed by Chief Insp. Marlyn Macatangay immediately responded in the area in coordination with the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, Philippine Coast Guard, and some Barangay Camban-ug residents.
Toledo BFP said that they received the report at around 2:05 p.m. The rescue operation lasted more than an hour.
Cambang-ug Barangay Councilor Dikie Juarez said that residents in their area preferred to collect sand and gravel in the river when the water would rise because it would be easier for them to extract it.
“Ana man gud na sila, mangayag gyud na sila ug magbaha diha sa sapa kay dali ra man sila makakuha og balas,” he said.
(That is how they do it, they extract it when the river is flooded because it will be easier to collect it then.)
Juarez said that this had been a livelihood for some residents in their barangay.
Juarez also said that a rescuer whom he identified as “Janjan” also became unconscious when he nearly drowned in the river while trying to rescue the stranded individuals.
However, he was immediately rescued by his co-rescuers and was now in a stable condition.
Juarez also appealed to his constituents not to extract sand and gravel from the river during inclement weather to avoid this kind of incident.
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