Davao area fisherman learns to heed bad weather warnings
Recounting his one-day ordeal over the last weekend, Mesa told reporters on Monday how he set out of Barangay (village) Aplaya here to fish last Saturday despite bad weather advisories as Typhoon “Glenda” was exiting and Typhoon “Henry” was brewing off the country’s eastern coast.
After all, he thought, Henry would affect Luzon only, the same place whipped by Glenda’s powerful winds.
But the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration had warned of weather disturbances even in areas not directly on the path of either Glenda or Henry. The weather bureau said the tail-end of the storms and the enhanced southwest monsoon could churn up the seas elsewhere.
Mesa said the weather was not so bad in the city on Saturday morning when he decided to sail out to sea.
“But as I was sailing farther, the waves were becoming huge and the wind was stronger,” he said.
Mesa said he drifted helplessly and even lost hope of surviving as huge waves battered his motorized boat.
“The more I struggled, the more difficult it became for me to steer the boat toward land,” he said.
Lucky for him, Mesa said, he got blown to shore Sunday night in Barangay Tubalan in Malita, Davao Occidental, which is about an hour along the coast from Aplaya in good weather.
Villagers helped him board a jeep back to the city on Monday and he immediately proceeded to the disaster risk reduction management council office to report his ordeal.
Garry Einstein Taghoy, the council’s chairman, told reporters here that Mesa had been listed as missing after he failed to return home Saturday.
He said a search-and-rescue team was dispatched to find the fisherman.
“The search and rescue team was still scouring the areas adjacent to Barangay Aplaya when he came over,” Taghoy said, adding that the team was eventually instructed to head home.
“It was fortunate for him that nothing tragic happened,” Taghoy said, adding Mesa’s experience should be lesson as well for other fishermen.
“Heed the warnings of disaster agencies in extreme weather conditions so that they will not be put in a compromising situation that could prove to be tragic,” he said.
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