Team Western Command, through its Joint Task Force Malampaya and Naval Forces West, dispatched Naval Ship BRP Nestor Reinoso (PC 380) to rescue another motor banca reported to be sinking in vicinity of Helicopter Island, El Nido, Palawan today, 06 August 2018.
At around 12 noon, JTF Malampaya received a telephone call from Captain Lakanni Hidalgo, Security Officer of Ayala Resort re the reported motor banca. PC 380 was immediately dispatched to conduct rescue operations. At 12:25PM, PC 380 sighted a sinking tourist boat with 2 crew on board and a speedboat of Miniloc resort which was trying to assist.
According to the boat captain, Mr Hayrone I Sulayman, 23 years old from Puerto Princesa City, tourist boat M/B Cleopatra departed from El Nido for a private island tour with 10 Filipino guests, 1 tour guide, and 3 crew including the captain. On their way to small lagoon in Miniloc Island, M/B Cleopatra encountered big waves causing her bow to crack and began to sip in water. Mr Sulayman put all his guests on the fantail of his boat hoping for the bow to remain afloat, however due to strong waves, his boat was continually sinking.
Other tourist boats nearby provided them assistance and managed to transfer all their guests to another tourist boat. The crew, however, remained in the sinking tourist boat as they were quickly drifted towards Dimumacad lsland and Calaragnan Island by strong wind and big waves.
Upon arrival in the area, PC 380 immediately provided assistance to the submerged tourist boat, towed her to El Nido and arrived thereat safely at past 1PM. All the guests and crew of M/B Cleopatra are all safe in El Nido.