THE Davao Central 911 Chief and office-in-charge of City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council urged citizens to keep their children away from rivers throughout the rainy season as river waters can be treacherous.
This warning came after two teenage boys were swept away by the strong current of the Davao River on Saturday, January 21 at Block 4, SIR Phase 1.
"Basta ganong klase hindi na dapat mag-swimming doon kasi ang river is very dangerous (Given the situation, it is not advisable to swim because the river is dangerous)," Emmanuel Jaldon said Monday.
He said the immediate search and retrieval operation of the bodies
of the two children was unsuccessful.
The incident occured around 4 p.m. Saturday but relatives of the victims only learned of the missing teenagers around 8 p.m.
As of Monday, the body of one of the two missing boys, Rolando Boca, was found floating on the Davao River around 9:10 a.m. near SIR Phase 1, Barangay 73-A Bucana, Davao City by a neighbor.
The SIR Responder Team continued with their search and rescue operation
to look for the body of Ivan Alexander Braga, 13.
According to witnesses, Braga tried to rescue the drowning Boca, but the two were carried away by the current.
"Alas 8 na sa gabii na-report sa amoa na nalunod daw akong anak uban sa iyang barkada, mao tong naglisod nami og pangita ug ang 911 (It was around 8 p.m. when we were told that our son and his friend drowned. That is the reason why we and 911 had a hard time finding them)," said Boca's mother.
Jaldon said the search and retrieval was "unsuccessful" because they were informed late of the incident, not to mention the dangerous condition of the river.
He also added first responders in city barangays were trained on swift water rescue and some are already life savers.
But such expertise, he said, is not effective if incidents are not immediately reported.
"Kids sometimes venture into these things without their parents knowing, so if someone will talk, it is already late," he said.
As for flood warnings, Jaldon assured that sirens and early warning devices are provided to alert people if there is a need for pre-emptive evacuation. (with Jeepy P. Compio)