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Sunday, July 31, 2011

19 of the 32 fishermen rescued off Masbate, Sibuyan, Philippines - 31st July 2011

NINETEEN of the 32 fishermen aboard a fishing boat which capsized off the waters of Masbate and Sibuyan island have been rescued, even as authorities are set to probe reports that the vessel had and proceeded on sailing despite tropical storm Juaning and lack of clearance, People’s Tonight gathered yesterday.

This developed as the Coast Guard intensified its search and rescue for the remaining 13 still missing fishermen, two days after the vessel capsized in the said province.

Coast Guard commandant Admiral Ramon C. Liwag ordered the dispatch of three Coast Guard vessels, namely, the BRP Edsa, BRP Corregidor and TB Habagat, one PCG Helicopter and one fixed wing aircraft to locate the missing fishermen aboard the FB Hope Christie.

Liwag also has ordered probe on the incident after being informed that the fishing boat had departed from Libas Fish Port secretly in defiance of advisory by the authorities.

Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Algier Ricafrente said Coast Guard District Western Visayas has revealed that FB Hope Christie was denied clearance to depart by Coast Guard Detachment Libas in Roxas City due to expired safety documents.

Ricafrente said that all Coast Guard units near the incident area were also directed to intensify coordination and information dissemination to coastal barangay’s for possible sightings of the missing fishermen.

Initial investigations revealed that the FB Hope Christie with 32 fishermen onboard, owned and operated by Raul Uy of Libas, Roxas City was anchored between Mandaon, Masbate and Sibuyan Island, Romblon when suddenly it was battered by big waves and strong winds, causing it to break and capsize at around 2 a.m. last Tuesday, July 26. Read More