2 Pangasinan fishermen missing in West Philippine Sea

Residents watch the panoramic view of the sunset in Lingayen Gulf at the Damortis Pier in Santo Tomas, La Union. VA/NorthboundPH


SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union — Two fishermen from Agno, Pangasinan who went out to the West Philippine Sea on board separate fishing boats on January 31 have not returned home and are still missing, the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) Region 1 said on Monday.

Mike Sabado, OCD Region 1 spokesperson, revealed that the fishermen ignored a gale warning issued by the Philippine Coast Guard stating that the sea was rough and waves were high and very dangerous for any small fishing vessel.

Sabado spoke over Bombo Radyo Dagupan early Monday morning to correct an earlier report in the media that there were 10 fishermen from Agno who were missing.

OCD Region 1 Director Melchito Castro told newsmen in Alaminos City on Sunday that there were two fishing boats from Agno that did not return to shore.

Each fishing boat was presumed to have five persons on board, said Castro, quoting a sketchy report from the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office of Agno.

According to Sabado, it was only last February 7 that OCD Region 1 received the report that two fishermen, a father and his son,  failed to return  home from a fishing expedition and were declared  missing.

He said on the part of OCD, Director Castro immediately called on its partner agencies, the Philippine Navy and the Philippine Coast Guard to conduct search and rescue operations for the missing fishermen.

The Provincial Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) of Pangasinan said it already alerted its counterparts in Zambales, La Union, Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte to be on the lookout for the two fishermen.

According to Sabado, there was an existing gale warning on January 31 due to the prevailing southwest monsoon but still, the father and son sneaked out to the sea in order to catch fish.

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