4 pump boats bound for Dumaguete nearly capsize; all passengers safe

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 17 Dec) –  Four pump boats loaded with passengers bound for Dumaguete City from Villanueva town in Misamis Oriental on Friday nearly capsized due to rough seas and strong winds, a rescue official said Saturday.

All 18 passengers, among them minors, are safe.

P/Ens Mary Ann Solares of the Philippine Coast Guard in Northern Mindanao on said the rough environment forced the boats to scatter in various directions.

Solares said two of the small boats turned back and sought safety in the towns of Laguindingan and Libertad in Misamis Oriental.

She said the Coast Guard sent out BRP San Juan but the rough seas forced the search and rescue vessel to turn back to Macajalar port Friday afternoon.

Solares said they sent out an alert signal or a “Notice to Mariners” about the plight of the small boats.

“We then received the report that the two remaining boats landed in Siquijor,” she said. SIquijor is located in Central Visayas.

Solares said the Coast Guard would investigate if the pump boats were hired by their passengers to bring them to Dumaguete City.

She said the boats left Villanueva town at 6 am Fridayn without informing the Coast Guard of their intention. (Froilan O. Gallardo /MindaNews)