The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Thursday launched a search and rescue operation (SAR) for four of its personnel who went missing during an operation in the Cagayan River.
The missing personnel’s aluminum boat reportedly capsized while attempting to rescue the crew members of tugboat M/Tug Iroquis on Wednesday at around 4 p.m., according to PCG Spokesperson Rear Admiral Armand Balilo.
Balilo said two teams were deployed for the rescue, but only one team returned.
“Dalawang team sila. ‘Yung isang team nakabalik…Sila po ang nag-report na nawawala sila. Sila rin ang nakakita na nag-capsize yung boat kaya lang di na nila malapitan kasi malakas an ang alon at iniligtas muna nila ang sarili nila,” Balilo told dzBB’s Super Radyo.
(They were two teams. One of them returned and reported the other one was missing. They saw the boat capsize, but they were not able to help because of the waves.)
“Sa huling sighting sa kanila, nakakapit sila sa aluminum boat. Pero kaninang umaga hindi na sila nakita at hanggang sa ngayon, hinahanap pa rin po. Hindi tayo makapagpalipad dahil sa sama ng panahon,” he said.
(They were last seen holding onto the aluminum boat. The SAR operation is still ongoing. We did not see them earlier. We’ve yet to deploy a helicopter due to the inclement weather.)
Balilo said they have yet to determine the details of the incident, but the SAR operation in the town of Abulug is still ongoing. They have also asked for assistance from the local fisherfolk to hasten the rescue operations.
A Coast Guard Aviation Force helicopter will also be deployed to assist in the rescue of the missing personnel. —Sundy Locus/ VAL, GMA Integrated News