By Freddie Lazaro
SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union – Following the recovery of a missing La Union fisherman on Friday in the waters off Pangasinan, another fisherman was reported missing at sea to operatives of the Naval Forces Northern Luzon on Saturday, according to Marine Captain Jojit R. Ofiaza- the NFNL spokesperson.
Oscar Pontilla, president of the Masinloc Fisherman Cooperative in Masinloc, Zambales, reported to NFNL through a telephone call about the missing fisherman and a member of the cooperative identified as Rico Unducon, 30, a resident of Sitio Matalvis, Barangay Inhobol, Masinloc, Zambales.
Undocon reportedly left his home at 3 p.m. on Thursday to go fishing on his 14-foot white wooden banca which more the markings ROI S MATAVIS>
The fisherman was believed to have ventured at sea to an approximate distance of 20 nautical miles off Iba, Zambales.
The fisherman went missing when he failed to return home on Friday.
It was also reported that a fellow fisherman saw Undocon on Friday, January 30, with his capsized motor banca at approximately 17 nautical miles West of Cabangan, Zambales.
It was theorized that Undocon could have encountered strong winds and big waves while fishing that could have caused his boat to capsize.
After being informed that Undocon failed to return home Friday, Commodore Caesar Bernard N. Valencia, the commander of NFNL, instructed Naval Task Force 11, immediately ordered the conduct of search and rescue operation (SAR), including an aerial search to find the missing fisherman.
He also reminded the fisher folks to be observant of the weather and keep in mind their safety whenever they about to sail.
“This is now the second case of a reported missing fisherman in a week. We, at the NFNL, are doing our best to recover alive the missing fisherman anew, just like we did to the first one,” said Valencia in a press statement.
At present, NFNP personnel continue to conduct intensified search and rescue operations for the missing fisherman.
“The NFNL will always be ready to lend and helping to its people as we are here, mandated to secure your safety and wellbeing” he added.