By Shiela G. Gelera
The missing fisherman who jumped off his boat in Pontevedra town was found dead at the shoreline of Purok 3, Barangay Tuyom in Cauayan town, Negros Occidental around 9:20 p.m. on Monday.
Thirty six-year-old Teoderico Castellano of Balangigay in Barangay Miranda, Pontevedra town was positively identified by his kin through the star tattoos on his shoulders.
Police said the distance of the area where the body of Castellano was found in Cauayan and the place he was last seen alive in Pontevedra was about 98.3 kilometers.
Police investigation showed that Castellano and his companion Reynold Catalan, 26, also of Barangay Miranda, went fishing at around 6:00 a.m. on January 29.
The two fishermen were about seven kilometers away from the shoreline of Barangay Miranda when their water container fell into the sea while they were pulling the fish net due to the impact of big waves, according to Commander Ludovico Librilla, Philippine Coast Guard-Negros Occidental head.
Castellano then jumped off the sea to supposedly get the water container, however, he had difficulty swimming back to their boat.
Catalan, meanwhile, tried to save Castellano but the waves continued to hit their boat. Catalan had thrown an empty container to Castellano, but he suddenly disappeared.
Librilla said Catalan tried to search for Castellano for hours but failed to find him, prompting him to just decide to go back to the seashore to ask for help.
The family of Castellano, who was informed by Catalan about the incident, reported it to the barangay officials, who then coordinated to the PCG and the Bantay Dagat.
Several search and retrieval operations have been launched by the PCG and Bantay Dagat but they yielded negative results as rescue personnel were forced to halt midway due to huge waves and unfavorable weather condition./SGG, WDJ