Boat owner probedCebu Daily News
THE owner of the motorbanca that stalled off Mactan waters with 20 Korean tourists on board said he did not ignore warnings from the Philippine Coast when the boat set sail for island hopping last Tuesday.
Pedro Augusto, owner of the Eris 3 which was damaged by big waves, also said the boat was properly registered
He was invited by the Cebu Coast Guard to explain the circumstances of the accident.
Augusto said the Coast Guard advisory prohibited boats from travelling across to Olango Island due to the storm signal that endangers light vessels in typhoon Gener.
“We did not cross to the island. We were just near the coastline heading to Mangal, Punta Engaño,” he said.
He said the Korean passengers seemed to enjoy the trip and were not complaining said Augusto.
Cebu Coast Guard station commander Rolando Punzalan said he would call a meeting with Lapu-Lapu City tourist boat operators to brief them on Coast Guard safety protocols.
Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza said she would look into Augusto’s business permit. If the investigation of the Maritime Industry Authority shows it should be revoked “then we will do it,” she said.
“We should look after the safety of tourists. Who would want to visit Lapu-Lapu if we don’t take care of them?” she said. /Correspondent Norman V. Mendoza