Boat capsizes; 2 crew missing

ZAMBOANGA CITY — The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) launched search and rescue operation to locate the two missing light boat crew that capsized off Basilan province, a PCG official disclosed Saturday.

The search and rescue was launched after the Zamboanga Coast Guard Station received report that a light boat of the Sunrise fishing firm capsized at around 9 a.m. Saturday near Baluk-Baluk Island, Hadji Muhtamad, Basilan.

Lieutenant Commander (LCdr.) Alvin Dagalea, Zamboanga Coast Guard Station commander, said the light boat with four crew capsized after it was battered by big waves coupled with strong winds spawned by inclement weather condition.

Western Mindanao has been experiencing inclement weather condition the past days due to the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) and with the entry of Typhoon Paolo into country.

Dagalea said two of the crew were already rescued by the sister ship of the ill-fated light boat.

But Dagalea disclosed that the light boat’s skipper and chief mate are still missing and are subject of the search and rescue operations.

He said coordination and monitoring has also been undertaken in a bid to rescue the two missing crew of the locally-based Sunrise fishing company.

“Our efforts to rescue them continues. Our personnel are still in the area,” he added. Teofilo Garcia, Jr/