INFANTA, Pangasinan — A crewman of a fishing boat from the coastal town of Infanta was declared missing when he left their mother boat in the afternoon of December 21 on a small banca to fish while they were 30 nautical miles east of the disputed Scarborough Shoal in the West Philippine Sea.
The information was relayed to the Infanta Police Station at 2 p.m. of December 25 by one Rey Montehermosa, boat operator of “F/B Marvin Safely”, a fishing boat which the missing fisherman, Ferdinand Salvador, 48, of Barangay Nayom, Infanta, was a crew member.
Montehermosa related to the police that without informing his fellow crewmen, Salvador launched a small banca from their mother boat F/B Marvin Safely at 2 p.m. of December 21 and did not return since then.
That time, Typhoon “Nina” was yet gathering strength in the Pacific Ocean.
At that time too, F/B Marvin Safely was lashed in a fish aggregating device called “payaw” at the vicinity of approximately 30 nautical mile east of Scarborough Shoal or approximately one hundred nautical miles south of Infanta.
Crewmen of F/B Marvin Safely decided to wait for Salvador at their position until 4 p.m. of December 23 but Salvador never returned.
His companions did conduct surface search starting at 5 a.m. of December 22 but still he could not be found, that was when they decided to head home at about bout 12 midnight of December 23.
They reached the wharf of Catro, Infanta on December 25.
The Philippine Coast Guard advised all fishing boats transiting in the area and fisherfolk in nearby coastal barangays to be on lookout for the missing fisherman, render necessary assistance to him if sighted and report immediately to the nearest PCG unit. Leonardo Micua/PNA-northboundasia.com