91 passengers stranded after boat trips from Surigao City suspended
BUTUAN CITY – At least 91 passengers, including six children, were stranded at the port of Surigao, since 11 p.m. Thursday, following the order of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and other maritime authorities to cancel all boat trips because of Typhoon “Ompong.”
Skyjet Airlines, which flies to and from Siargao Island, also canceled flights, although the number of passengers stranded at the airport was not yet available.
“We have already issued an order for the cancellation of all trips and sea voyages from the port of Lipata and the Surigao City port Thursday afternoon,” said Ensign Jesmar Dasas, acting station commander of the PCG station in Surigao City.
Dasas said the cancellation and suspension of trips included all smaller boats traveling to the nearby islands.
“As the sea is becoming rough and the waves, bigger, it would be dangerous for any form of vessel crossing open waters, even if (the trip only covered) the nearby island province of Dinagat or the ports of Siargao,” said Dasas.
The PCG warned that any boat caught crossing to and from Surigao City would be apprehended.
“We heard in the past that even with the storm signal imposed, smaller boats would risk crossing over to the islands, charging a higher fare,” he said. “Those caught doing this would be apprehended, their licenses canceled, and would be made to face administrative charges,” he added.
He said the suspension of trips was declared after the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration issued a gale warning on the eastern seaboard due to Ompong within the Philippine area of responsibility.
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