4 fishermen missing after sailing through big waves

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 11 2019 09:34 AM | Updated as of Nov 11 2019 11:21 AM

MANILA — Four fishermen remained missing on Monday after they sailed in rough waters stirred by Typhoon Quiel off Mindoro Island, the Philippine Coast Guard said. 

The fishermen were on board boats Marx Man and Ariana-Je, which sailed separately for the Mindoro Strait, some 17 miles off Mamburao last Nov. 4 and 5, Bernard Mayo, spokesperson of the town's Tuna Fisherfolk Association, earlier said. 

The group was supposed to return home last Wednesday, a day before 5-meter waves destroyed dozens of houses and boats in neighboring Paluan. 

"Wala pa kaming contact... Sana maging ligtas pa sila hanggang ngayon dahil kawawa naman iyong mga nag-aalala sa kanila," Mayo told radio DZMM. 

(We still don't have contact with them. We hope they are safe because many worry for them) 

The PCG-Occidental Mindoro said it was still searching for the 4 crew members of Ariana-Je, while the 5 crew members of Marx Man were found safe after taking shelter in Paluan, a boat-building town. 

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The waves, which struck before dawn on Thursday, destroyed 80 houses, 50 to 60 boats, and a seawall in Paluan, said Mayor Carl Pangilinan.

Local officials will declare a state of calamity on Monday, he said. This will allow the Paluan government to tap emergency funds and speed up aid distribution.

Last week's tidal wave also snapped in half a 10-meter boat donated by a Chinese tycoon to the fishermen in neighboring San Jose town, who in June were left adrift for hours after a Chinese ship sank their boat near Reed Bank, said Vice Mayor Rod Agas. 

"Pinaglaruan siya ng alon. Inangat ang hulihan tapos binagsak ang unahan, nabali ang gitna," he said.

(The waves tossed the boat around. It lifted its stern and dropped the bow, breaking the boat in half.) 

The fishermen have yet to receive a livelihood package promised by the labor department and P15,000 in assistance from the social welfare agency, said the vice mayor. 

Typhoon Quiel left the Philippines on Saturday, but a new brewing storm may batter eastern Luzon or Visayas this week, said state weather bureau PAGASA.

With reports from Dennis Datu and Johnson Manabat, ABS-CBN News