Fun swimming turns tragic as 5 kids go missing in Batangas

What was supposed to be a fun swimming event turned out tragic as five children went missing in Balete, Batangas on Tuesday, May 3.

In an incident report, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said the children took a dip at the vicinity waters off Barangay Looc that is part of Taal Lake when they went missing.

The kids aged 12, 10, eight, eight, and seven were residents of Barangay Sto. Toribio in Lipa City.

Capt. Vic Acosta, commander of PCG Batangas Station, said the five kids went to Taal Lake to swim when the incident happened. It was not clear if they were accompanied by an adult although swimming in Taal Lake is prohibited by the authorities.

The PCG - Batangas received the report around 12 noon and immediately deployed personnel to search for the missing children.

"As of press time, the PCG search and rescue (SAR) team, MDRRMO Balete, and local officials jointly conduct surface search at the adjacent area for possible sightings of the five children," the PCG said in a statement.

Two divers from the PCG Special Operations Group – Southern Tagalog were mobilized to conduct underwater search in the area.

PCG personnel in Batangas were also placed on a heightened alert due to the incident.

"We will not stop our search and rescue operations as long as there is daylight," Acosta said in an interview over dzBB.