MANILA - More than 10 Philippine Coast Guard personnel were relieved from their respective posts after an apprentice seaman drowned during training.
Mori Caguay, an apprentice seaman of the Philippine Coast Guard became brain dead and is in critical condition after the incident, his doctor said.
He reportedly drowned while undergoing Water Search and Rescue (WASAR) Training in Sangley Point in Cavite on November 16.
According to his family, Caguay was not immediately given medical attention. His mother also sought the help of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is already investigating the incident. The NBI Death Investigation Division also has a copy of video of the actual WASAR Training on the morning of November 16.
In the video, Caguay was shown floating, while his companions were seemingly making fun of him.
Because he had not moved for a while, one of his companions jumped into the water and brought his body to a rubber boat where they tried to resuscitate him.
According to Caguay's family, the training was already finished, but he was asked to go back to the water to swim. They alleged that what happened was a form of initiation or hazing.
The PCG denied this allegation. According to PCG spokesperson Rear Admiral Armand Balilo, the length of the training depends on the instructor.
The PCG immediately investigated the incident. Ten personnel were also relieved from their posts.
On November 17, the PCG released a statement regarding the suspension of WASAR trainings following the death of a PCG District Palawan personnel after undergoing a diagnostic training on November 15.
According to the statement, all ongoing WASAR trainings are suspended as of November 16, the same day that Caguay underwent the training in Cavite.
According to Balilo, all PCG personnel undergo the same training, and the swimming diagnostic test is given to determine the skills of the trainee.
He, however, said they are looking into possible lapses on the side of the training supervisor. - report from Zyann Ambrosio, ABS-CBN News
Caguay is currently still being treated in the hospital.