Joint police and Coast Guard personnel have intensified the search and rescue operations for four passengers of a motorized pump boat that capsized off the waters of Simunul in Tawi-Tawi on Oct. 19.
Brig. Gen. Samuel Rodriguez, director of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region regional police, said the rescue operations initially led to the rescue of 11 people on board another motorized pump boat.
They were identified as Dalson Kadil, Habil Kadil, Noralyn Kadil, Inang Danial, Delma Abdulgafor, Almasil Abdulgafor, Roman Kadil, Alsimal Abdulgafor, Iradzmal Abdulgafor, Nursilyn Kadil, and Airin Danial. They were on board the motorized pump boat named Ronymal.
Four others—Jig Abdul, Ajil Abdul, Julhamin Abdul, and Raiza Abdul—were on board the motorized banca Baby Nor. They remain missing.
Rodriguez said the two motorized pump boats left Barangay Poblacion, Sitangkai and were heading to Bongao, Tawi-Tawi.
“However, while navigating the seawater of Manuk-Mangkaw in Simunul, the sea vessels encountered rough seas then capsized and sank after being hit by a powerful wave,” said Rodrguez, quoting police reports.
“Joint search and rescue operations by the Philippine Coastguard and PNP Personnel of Simunul Municipal Police Station are still ongoing,” he added.
The rescued passengers were taken to the Barangay Bakong Wharf for immediate medical attention, and were taken care and billeted at the residence of the Barangay Chairman of Bakong, Simunul, Tawi-Tawi.
Rodriguez also urged all police units in Tawi-Tawi province to work with concerned authorities in the conduct of search and rescue operations for the missing vessels and four passengers.