Saturday, July 2, 2011

Search ended, 10 missing Bicol fishermen presumed dead 4 rescued in 1-week operation after Falcon

By Sonny Sales
Bikol News, Friday, July 2, 2011

A Philippine Navy vessel docks at Virac port after a rescue mission.
A Philippine Navy vessel docks at Virac port after a rescue mission.

LEGAZPI City (July 1, 2011) – Rescue teams of the Philippine Navy, using 2 sea vessels and an aircraft, have ended the search for 10 missing fishermen from Ligao City and the towns of Virac and Bato in Catanduanes province.

An official report on Thursday, (June 30) from the Office of the Civil Defence (OCD) Bicol office and the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (RDRRMC) bared that the 10 fishermen lost at sea and will not be searched anymore were identified as:

Rosa Ordan, 54, barangay Basag, of Ligao City;

Antonio Avila Bailon, 40,Nestor Tapit Mandasoc, 53, Vicente Rodriguez Tapit, 40, Paquito Tabios, 40, Rolando Sarmiento Tabios, 30 - all from the coastal village of San Vicente, Virac, Catanduanes;

Denver Sta. Ines, 24, Pedro Balingit, 37, Jason Balingit, 16, and Jonsy Rodriguez, all residents of Binanuahan, Bato, Catanduanes.

Sources from the OCD said that the fishermen left their localities on June 21 when typhoon signals for tropical storm “Falcon” were not yet raised. The fisher folks were expected to come home on the 23rd of June, but were caught by the typhoon in the high seas.

Philippine Navy vessels, “Islander 310” and “PG-112,” including a Navy aircraft, were returned to base on Wednesday (June 29) the OCD said Thursday.

Of the Catanduanes based fishermen, only one survivor, identified as Prospero Tabios, was rescued. He said they were in a group of 3 motorized fishing boats when they were caught by the typhoon.

Tabios said their vessels were swept by giant waves and sea currents to the coastlines of Northern Samar where the Navy vessels have searched since early this week.

Prospero Tabios (not to be confused with Paquito Tabios who is still missing) joins Joselito de los Santos, Joey Mendoza and Jenan Mendoza, all fishermen from Pinagtigasan, Vinzons, Camarines Norte who lived through their ordeal at sea during typhoon Falcon and were later rescued.

Chairman of the RDRRMC, Albay Governor Joey Sarte Salceda, stresses that a reliable early warning advisory should be put in place in coastal localities of the region to prevent further loss of lives in Bicol fishing communities and a relief program for families of fisher folks should be promptly implemented during typhoons to encourage fishermen to stay with their families rather than risking their lives at sea to earn a living.

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