Please forward this open letter to Manila Rescue Co-ordination Centre, Headquarters, Philippine Coast Guard.
Hello, This past week 11 heavily armed men entered a Philippine marina on Samal Island near Davao. Hostages were taken the attackers at ample time to flee by sea with no intervention. One person reported trying to reach coast guard on VHF
on channel 16.
Question: At the time of the incident, how many coast guard officials were on duty?
Question: Was channel 16 being monitored, and can the call from a typical VHF radio
aboard a sailboat be heard from a monitoring location.
Question: Approximately when did coast guard learn of the attack. I.E. 20 minutes after it began at local time ___.
Question: How long did it take coast guard officials to go to sea? Was a vessel already in the water
Question: Was there any call to obtain assistance from others. When did they begin to assist searching for fleeing vessel(s)?
Question: Was a helicopter used to try and find the fleeing vessel. When was it airborne and could they communicate to any coast guard vessels?
Question: Had one or more yacht owners activated an EPIRB
device, how long would it have taken for notice of a problem to reach the Davao coast guard? What would they have done?
Question: Is there any planning on the part of the coast guard to anticipate where problems may occur?
Question: Did the coast guard believe such an attack may have been possible? If so, were the owners and manager of the marina informed?
We have noticed some good changes in coast guard attitudes to visiting yacht owners after the 2014 kidnapping off the Island of Palawan of two German sailors. We also have noted more active involvement to keep yacht owners from traveling to certain areas. Thank you.
Question: In light of this most recent event, what went wrong?
Question: If a similar incident took place in one of the other areas there are many foreign yachts, please advise for the following areas
A. Cebu Yacht Club Mactan
B. Bonbonon Bay Negros
C. Abanico Yacht Club, Palawan
D. Puerto Galera, Mindoro
For each of the above areas
1. Is channel 16 monitored by coast guard at a location that can be heard from a sailboat under attack?
2. Is their a local coast guard office manned 24/7?
3. Are enough men kept on duty to give chase?
4. Does the coast guard have a vessel ready and in the water
5. How long does it take to have armed men in a vessel at these locations?
6. Does the coast guard coordinate with any helicopter that can observe and communicate what is going on? How long does it take to get a helicopter into the air?
I apologize that these are difficult questions. Safety
of foreign vessels in the Philippines
is a challenge and more so owing to the fact many owners are highly independent and do not believe problems can happen to them.
I have posted these questions on the internet
on cruisers forum.com. I look forward to posting your answers soon.
Puerto Princesa Bay