Chinese tourist dead, 27 rescued in Boracay boat mishap

Robie de Guzman   •   January 22, 2020   •   291

MANILA, Philippines – A Chinese national died while 27 others were rescued after an island-hopping boat capsized in waters off Boracay Island on Tuesday, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said.

The PCG said its personnel from Boracay sub-station were able to rescue 25 tourist passengers as well as three crew members of the boat.

However, the rescuers failed to revive a 45-year old female tourist despite performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Three other female passengers who needed medical assistance were brought to the nearest hospital.

“They have regained consciousness and are declared safe and in good condition,” the PCG said.

Remaining survivors are also safe and in good physical condition, the agency added.

The coast guard said motorbanca “Jocelyn 1” capsized along the waters off Barangay Balabag in Boracay after encountering strong winds that broke the boat’s outrigger on Tuesday morning.

BRP Gabriela to deliver medical supplies to regional hospitals

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 7, 2020

The largest ship of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), the BRP Gabriela Silang will be used to deliver medical supplies to regional hospitals amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

BRP Gabriela Silang arrived on Tuesday (April 7) and is currently docked at Manila Bay. It came from the Middle East to repatriate overseas Filipinos during the heightened tension between the United States and Iran.

The PCG also added that the said vessel can also transport frontline health workers across the country.

Meanwhile, one of the two ships of a logistics company that will be used as a quarantine vessel for repatriated seafarers arrived at Port of Manila.

The Department of Health (DOH), Bureau of Quarantine, and other involved government agencies have already inspected the said ship which is set to be operational next week.

An estimated 400 seafarers are set to return to the Philippines and will have to undergo the 14-day quarantine.

The private shipping company voluntarily lent two of their ships which can accommodate up to 1,500 patients. AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

Duterte cancels Boracay trip amid COVID-19 threat

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 12, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte has postponed his scheduled trip to Boracay amid the threat of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country.

Duterte’s supposed visit was to conduct an inspection of Boracay after the six-month rehabilitation period last year.

In a statement on Wednesday (March 11), Malacañang announced that the chief executive’s trip will be rescheduled for another date.

“In light of the recent developments and after careful review of the situation concerning the coronavirus disease in the country, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte will not proceed to Boracay Island on Thursday, March 12, as earlier scheduled,” Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a statement.—AAC

PCG probes Panama vessel from China for allegedly violating COVID-19 maritime security measures

Robie de Guzman   •   February 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Friday said it is investigating a cargo vessel that arrived from China for allegedly violating the country’s maritime security measures against the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In a statement, the PCG said the captain of Panama-flagged cargo vessel MV Harmony 6 declared false information of its port clearance details when it arrived in the Philippine waters on February 23.

Initial information revealed that the vessel arrived in Changzhou, China on February 13 and left on February 18.

But the ship’s captain, Vietnamese national Luu Van Loi, allegedly declared that it left China on February 10 in order to fit into the 14-day quarantine period being implemented in all Philippine ports in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.

His crew also allegedly turned off the ship’s automatic identification system (AIS) from February 19 until its arrival in the country’s waters for its next port call at the Port of Poro Point in La Union.

Under PCG’s port guidelines against coronavirus, vessels that came from any country with reported cases of COVID-19 are required to be quarantined for 14 days from its date of departure to its arrival to the Philippine waters before the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) may conduct health inspection among its crew.

Health inspection is required for the issuance of port clearance.

“However, due to the Captain’s misrepresentation of its date of departure from China, the BOQ team boarded the vessel to conduct the health inspection among its 18 Vietnamese and 5 Indian crew in just six days, instead of the required 14-day quarantine period,” the PCG said.

Through surveillance, the PCG command center and the National Coast Watch Center alerted the port state control group in La Union about the alleged misrepresentation and the turning off of the vessel’s AIS on February 24, a few hours after the BOQ conducted a health inspection on the ship.

The PCG said the vessel has been declared “under temporary detention” at the anchorage area in La Union pending investigation on its alleged violations.

The agency said it will coordinate with the quarantine bureau for the possible filing of criminal charges if MV Harmony 6 will be found guilty of committing violations.

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