Two Pandan fishermen defy gale warning, fail to return

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE was provided by the Pandan municipal government to the families of the two missing fishermen of barangay San Roque last Jan. 30, 2023. Mayor Raul E. Tabirara handed over the aid to Lorna Aldanes, the wife of Alfredo Alnaiz, and Jennette Gan See, sister-in-law of the Alnaiz brothers, in the presence of LDRRMO Sir Noel B. Garcera, Freddie Magtangob of the Municipal Agricultural and Services Office and Senen Razal of the Municipal Treasurer’s Office. He assured them that the LGU is continuing its coordination with government agencies and other LGUs in Bicol in the search for the missing fishermen.

Despite gale warnings issued by PAGASA for more than a week now, two Pandan fishermen apparently ignored the advisories and went out to sea on Jan. 24, 2023. They remain missing as of presstime, with their motorized banca found off Caramoan, Camarines Sur last Jan. 27.

Last Jan. 26, the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) officially reported the two fishermen missing after they failed to return to barangay San Roque on Jan. 25 as expected by their kin.

It identified the duo as Alfredo N. Alnaiz, 35, married, and his brother, Noli N. Alnaiz, 33, single, both residents of the coastal village.

At 4 AM of Jan. 24, they left on board an orange-and-green motorized bance with two 12-HP engines bound to a fishing ground somewhere in the Pacific Ocean and were expected to arrive at 1 PM the next day.

The MDRRMO said that when they left, Alfredo, who has a scar on his forehead, was wearing a green jacket over a blue T-shirt, while Noli had on a red T-shirt and black shorts.

For weeks now, gale warnings have been issued over northern and eastern coasts of Catanduanes and on the morning that the Alnaiz brothers sailed, PAGASA forecast wind gusts of 45 to 63 kilometers per hour and rough to very rough seas, with wave heights of 2.8 to 4.5 meters.

Similar advisories were issued by the government weather agency 12 hours  later and on the following morning, with wind gusts rising to 71 kph and waves as high as 5.5 meters.

The warnings advised fishing boats and other small seacraft are advised not to venture out into the sea and alerted larger sea vessels against big waves.

Search and rescue operations were reportedly launched by the Philippine Coast Guard and the MDRRMOs of Caramoran and Pandan but have yet to find the missing fishermen.

According to MDRRMO Assistant Dennis Isorena, their office together with the PCG Pandan substation visited coastal barangays to disseminate information and monitor the condition of the sea.
It likewise accompanied Mayor Raul Tabirara and the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO) in providing stress debriefing and food packs to the families of the missing fishermen.

Last Jan. 28, it was confirmed that the waterlogged banca used by the missing fishermen was found off Lipata, Caramoan, Camarines Sur. Discovered on the banca were rotting fish and clothes.

Mayor Tabrrara immediately coordinated with Caramoan Mayor Cynthia Co to safeguard the banca and belongings and later gave financial assistance to their families.

MDRRMO San Andres said that the banca was found by four fishermen from Belmonte – Joseph Briones, Jyrus Arcilla, James Bona and Carlito Buhayo – who were on board two bancas when they came upon the floating banca off Caglayag, Camarines Sur.

This latest incident of local fishermen lost at sea comes just a month after four fishermen from Viga and another six from Virac were lost in similarly bad weather.

Only one of the 10 missing, Norman Lim of Virac, survived the tragedy after jumping off their crippled motorized banca off Rapu-Rapu island in Albay abd swimming ashore.

His companion was found dead just a kilometer away, with the decomposing bodies of two other Virac fishermen were discovered snagged in mangrove forests in Sorsogon and Masbate.

The other six missing fishermen are believed to be dead.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: