CEBU CITY, Philippines — Four passengers were rescued including a senior citizen from a motorbanca, which sprang a leak at its freeboard or the area between the water line and the top of the side of the boat off the coast of Hilantagaan Island in Santa Fe town in northern Cebu.
Lieutenant Junior Grade Erick Salcedo, spokesperson of the Philippine Coast Guard in Central Visayas (PCG-7), said that the motorbanca sprang a leak at past 9 a.m. in the Hilantagaan Island area.
Salcedo said that the PCG substation in Barangay Pooc, Santa Fe town received a report of the troubled boat at past 9 a.m. from Maranatha Illustrisimo, who is an active member of the 205th Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary (PCGA).
Salcedo said that the PCG Sub-Station Santa Fe immediately coordinated with Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (MDRMMO) of Santa Fe town to conduct a Joint Search and Rescue Operation (SAR) on two boats.
The PCG boats arrived in the Hilantagaan area at past 10 a.m. where they saw that the troubled motorbanca was being helped by another motorbanca – MBCA Angela Mae. He said that when they arrived the crew of MBCA Angela Mae and the crew of the troubled motorbanca were transferring the cargoes from Juresan John to Angela Mae.
He also said that the four passengers aboard the troubled boat were also transferred to Angela Mae and later moved to the PCG boat where they were brought to Barangay Pooc.
Salcedo identified the four rescued passengers as Jbong Alvarez, 63; Joel Illustrisimo, 29; Tony Estocano, 53; and Noel Gilbuena, 30. He also said that the passengers were not hurt during the incident.
He also said that the MBCA Angela Mae after helping the MBCA Juresan John proceeded to its destination which is Kinatarcan Island. Salcedo also said that the PCG boats also assisted the MBCA Juresan John’s crew to bring the boat to safety in Barangay Pooc.
Aljun Espinosa of the Santa Fe Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (MDRRMO), for his part, said that the MBCA Juresan John left Barangay Okoy in Santa Fe early in the morning heading to Kinatarcan Island, but while they were traversing off the coast of Hilantagaan Island, the boat suddenly sprang a leak at its freeboard.
According to one of the rescued passengers, Ilustrisimo, that the leaking hole of the boat was on front part or forward ride side of the boat. Espinosa also said in a phone interview that the MBCA Juresan John was transporting supplies to Kinatarcan Island like rice and plywood.