By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in Negros Occidental has launched a search and rescue operation yesterday after two fishermen failed to return home and were declared missing.
Authorities identified the two missing fishermen as 19-year-old Noel Dela Cruz and 29-year-old Joevel Tipon, both residents of the province’s Binalbagan town.
Captain Ludovico Librilla, PCG-Negros Occidental commander and Coast Guard District Western Visayas deputy commander, said the two fishermen left on Tuesday, December 14.
The fishermen were last spotted at around 4:00 p.m. of the same day at the sea dividing Guiwanin island, Guimaras and Pontevedra in Negros Occidental.
The two were scheduled to return on Wednesday, December 15, however they failed to do so and were ultimately declared missing.
Librilla said they immediately issued an alert to all vessels traveling in the area to keep on the lookout for the two missing fishermen.
It is also possible that the two are only taking shelter in the surrounding islands off Guimaras, and they are presently checking with the families of the two if they have already communicated with them.
Librilla added they have already issued an advisory since Tuesday for fishermen to avoid venturing out to sea due typhoon “Odette.”/DGB, WDJ