PH Coast Guard warns public vs ‘colorum’ sea vessels

Robie de Guzman   •   April 15, 2019   •   1298

FILE: Authorities released a public warning against colorum vessels after an undocumented motor banca sank in Roxas City, Capiz on July 29, 2018. (Photo by DOTr)

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Monday warned passengers anew against patronizing ‘colorum’ or unregistered sea vessels.

The PCG’s warning came amid the growing number of passengers trooping to various seaports across the country in time for the Lenten season.

The agency admitted to facing difficulty in fully monitoring colorum sea vessels, thus, it appealed for public’s cooperation by reporting ships and boats that are illegally operating and transporting passengers.

“The public has a big role. Don’t ride. Don’t patronize (colorum ships and boats),” PCG spokesperson Capt. Armand Balilo said.

Balilo added that it is risky to board illegal sea vessels as passengers will not receive any benefit when accidents occur.

“Often, there is no floating equipment. If something happened, we cannot immediately know because we are not monitoring it,” Balilo said. 

The PCG has been placed under heightened alert status since April 8 in line with its bid to secure port passengers during the Lenten season.

Balilo said tighter security inspections and other measures are already in place even if the volume of passengers at ports remains normal.

The PCG expects the volume of travelers to surge by Wednesday, April 17.

Balilo reminded passengers to prepare for their trip accordingly, and observe the port’s policies against prohibited items.

“Plan your travel. Secondly, do not bring unnecessary things. [For example,] liquids that can cause explosion, hazardous materials, chemicals and sharp objects” he said. 

The PCG official also urged travelers to heed their shipping company’s advisories.

When boarding a sea vessel, adult passengers traveling with their family must guide and take care of the children and the elderly; know the location and how to use life jackets and to not leave their baggage unattended.

Aside from securing seaports, authorities are also closely monitoring popular tourist destinations in the country such as Palawan, Boracay Island, Bohol and other coastal areas in Cebu, which are commonly visited during the Lenten break. – Robie de Guzman (with details from April Cenedoza)

Chinese tourist dead, 27 rescued in Boracay boat mishap

Robie de Guzman   •   January 22, 2020

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.

PH, Japan Coast Guard conduct joint maritime drill in Manila waters

Robie de Guzman   •   January 22, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and Japan Coast Guard (JCG) conducted a joint maritime exercise in the waters off the Philippine Capital.

In a statement, the PCG said coast guard personnel from two countries participated in a vessel towing exercise held on Tuesday, January 21.

They also conducted several drill scenarios involving response and rendering necessary assistance to a vessel in distress.

The PCG said the said activity is part of the five-day practical training course on towing and firefighting for the crew members of BRP Malabrigo (MRRV 4402), BRP Kalanggaman (FPB 2404), and PB 151 from January 20 to 24, 2020.

The joint maritime exercise between the PCG and the JCG, along with the Japan International Cooperation Agency, was conducted to enhance their capability on vessel operations, maintenance planning, and maritime law enforcement.

PCG still searching for missing 7 Pangasinan fishermen

Robie de Guzman   •   January 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Tuesday said search operations are still ongoing for the seven fishermen who went missing after they left the shores of Dasol, Pangasinan.

In a statement, the PCG said an aerial search is being conducted to look for the missing fishermen. Personnel from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Philippine Air Force and the Philippine Navy are also assisting in the search and rescue operations.

The missing fishermen onboard FB Narem 2 reportedly went out to catch some fish last January 6. The group was expected to return to Infanta, Pangasinan on January 14, according to fishing boat owner Christine Macaraig.

The vessel is skippered by Alberto Roldan, with crew members Roderick Montemayor, Homar Maglantay, Jerome Maglantay, Ejay Dela Cruz, Larry Legaspi, and Jefferson Bernabe.

The fishing vessel’s location was last reported at 60 to 90 nautical miles off Camaso Island in Dasol.

The PCG said another vessel will be deployed to help in the search effort.

The agency also called on other local fishers to report to authorities any sighting of the missing fishermen. — RRD (with details from Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

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