Councilor voices alarm; resort insists there was no neglectCebu Daily News
Two drownings that occurred in a popular beach resort in Lapu-Lapu City in a span of days has drawn the attention of some city officials who want an investigation into the incidents.
Lapu-Lapu City Councilor Harry Don Radaza said he would call for an investigation into the two drownings in Portofino beach resort in Barangay Mactan, Lapu-Lapu City.
“Yes, I will ask another councilor to bring this to the council’s attention and spearhead the investigation,” the councilor said in a text message to Cebu Daily News.
Councilor Radaza, who chairs the Lapu-Lapu City Council’s committee on sports and tourism, voiced alarm over the incidents after he read them in CDN’s online edition.
Radaza, nephew of Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza, is in Hawaii and is scheduled to return to the country by September. The councilor sponsored an ordinance regulating recreational water sports activities in resorts and dive shops in the city.
The ordinance required resorts to put up floaters that serves as a line barring the entry of jet skis, speed boats and motorized boats and serves as protection to swimmers.
The two incidents drew concerns over the enforcement of water safety measures by the Portofino resort management which insisted that they have enough life guards and warning signs in place to protect swimmers.
The secretariat of the Lapu-Lapu City Council said they cannot recall any ordinance requiring resorts and hotels to designate enough life guards in their premises. An ordinance to this effect had been passed by the Mandaue City Council.
The first drowning incident claimed the life of 22-year-old Crispin Cajes, an incoming fourth year education student of Lyceum de Cebu. Cajes was discovered unconscious and floating 10 meters away from the shore by a lifeguard.
Resort personnel tried to revive Cajes but he was later rushed by personnel of the Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation (ERUF) to the Mactan Doctors Hospital where he was later declared dead.
Cajes was with relatives for a beach outing to celebrate a three-year old cousin’s birthday. A cousin, Cebu Daily News day desk coordinator Dale Israel, said Cajes wasn’t drinking liquor at that time and he knows how to swim.
The second drowning incident occurred at the Porto Fino beach resort at 9 p.m last Thursday, June 14. The 30-year-old victim identified as Irineo Tirol of Barangay Day-as, Cordova town was seen by a co-worker unconscious and floating in the waters.
Again resort staff tried but failed to revive him. Tirol was rushed by by ERUF paramedics to Mactan Doctors Hospital where he was declared dead on arrival.
Tirol was with co-employees in an overnight stay. His friends confirmed Tirol had drunk wine before he went out for swimming and it was late when they discovered Tirol unconscious in the waters.
Rose Manti, reservations officer of Portofino beach resort said they have enough life guards, a resort nurse and warning signs in the resort to remind guests not to drink or eat excessively before swimming.
She said there was no negligence on their part because they’ve assigned watchers and lifeguards in the swimming areas. Manti said the resort would welcome any City Council investigation into the incidents.
The Portofino resort management shouldered the hospital and funeral expenses of both drowning victims. No charges were filed against them.
Residents of sitio Angasil of Barangay Mactan where the Portofino resort is located claimed that the waters in the area have a strong undercurrent that drags and pulls down swimmers who stray in a certain spot in the waters.
But resort management has set up buoys or lines marking the site where swimmers are prohibited from straying to. /Norman V. Mendoza, Correspondent