The Philippine Coast Guard in Western Visayas has recorded five maritime-related incidents since November last year.
CGDWV commander Capt. Weniel Azcuna said Thursday, February 1, that ever since he assumed command in November last year, the five incidents have required the PCG to initiate rescue operations.
He said the most serious incident they recorded was the one involving the fastcraft M/V Weesam Express 6 in October of last year.
The fastcraft suffered a malfunction in its rudder, forcing the captain of the vessel to stop the vessel in the middle of the Iloilo Strait.
No one was hurt in the incident.
Azcuna said that other noteworthy incidents that took place two weeks ago involved tourist boats in Carles, Iloilo, and Capiz.
The CGDWV commander pointed out that most of the incidents they recorded ever since he assumed his post were caused by mechanical issues in the vessels.
Also, in connection with the Weesam Express 6 incident last year, Azcuna awarded two members of the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary (PCGA) who played a key role in the rescue operation.
Awarded the Rescue Merit Ribbon were AUX Capt. Noel Imalay and AUX Cmdr. Rolando Corona Jr. of the 618th PCGA squadron.
Both Imalay and Corona led the rescue operation by dispatching the tugboats Arcturus and Sadr, and participated in towing the troubled vessel along with its 172 passengers and crew safely back to Bredco port in Bacolod City.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary (PCGA) in Negros Occidental will hold this year's Western Visayas District Convention on Friday, February 2, at the Acacia Hotel Convention Center in Bacolod City.
Azcuna pointed out the importance of holding the convention, as the PCG sees the PCGA as their main partner in upholding maritime safety and marine environmental protection.
The regional PCG head said he expects that during today's convention, station commanders from both the PCG and the PCGA in the region will discuss how to further improve and expand their collaboration and partnerships.
The PCGA serves as a support force for the PCG in ensuring the saving of lives and property at sea, the preservation of the marine environment, the conduct of maritime search and rescue, the maintenance of aids to navigation, recreational safety, and other activities involving maritime relations.*