Coast Guard bans vessels from leaving port in GenSan

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/08 November) — The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has suspended all departures of cargo and fishing vessels from this city in the wake of the ongoing onslaught of super typhoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan).

Cmdr. Nelbert Aniversario, PCG station commander, said Friday the move is part of the preemptive measures that they adopted in connection with the possible impact of the weather disturbance, which is currently affecting parts of northern and eastern Mindanao and the Visayas region.

“We’re currently monitoring our coastal areas and we expect full compliance from all concerned,” the official said.

Although the area is not directly affected by the typhoon, he said they are not making any compromises to ensure the safety of the vessels and their crew.

On Friday morning, several cargo vessels were moored at the Makar port while a number of fishing boats have returned to private ports and at the fishport complex.

Aniversario said they had issued several warnings and advisories in the last several days to fishing companies based in the city that have deployed their fleets off the eastern part of the country.

Around 350 fishermen aboard 51 fishing vessels from this city went missing and were never found at the height of typhoon “Pablo” in December last year.

At least 18 survivors were found while the remains of eight men were recovered several days after the devastating typhoon.

The 51 fishing vessels, which were owned by 10 fishing companies here, were reportedly caught in the middle of the storm and eventually sank.

Dominic Salazar, general manager of Thidcor Fishing Corporation, said in an interview over TV Patrol Socsksargen that they warned their fishing fleets several days earlier regarding the entry of typhoon “Yolanda.”

He said they did not advise them to return or move towards the mainland as the storm might eventually overtake them.

“We told them to stay away from the storm’s direction or track,” said Salazar, whose company lost a number of vessels during typhoon “Pablo.”

Salazar, who is a member of the Socsksargen Federation of Fishing and Allied Industries Inc., said they have been closely monitoring the storm’s track and communicating with their crew on a regular basis. (MindaNews)