PCG-Palawan suspends water rescue course after trainee drowns

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) suspended all Water Search and Rescue (WASAR) training exercises here following the death of a trainee. PCG commandant Admiral Ronnie Gavan on Friday said he has ordered the suspension of all ongoing WASAR training pending an investigation into drowning death of apprentice seaman Saripon Diacudin on Wednesday evening. "The incident occurred during their 100-meter swimming proficiency at Water Search, Rescue and Survival Techniques Training in Rizal, Palawan. The incident is currently under investigation. We appreciate the public's patience and understanding as the inquiry progresses," the PCG District Palawan reported on Thursday. The PCG claimed that instructors were 'closely monitoring' the group of trainees when the accident occurred. Diacudin was declared dead at about 9 p.m. In an official statement, the PCG district stated that Saripon's cause of death was "hypoxia ischemic encephalopathy, which occurred due to drowning, followed by cardiac arrest." Gavan said 'al l WASAR courses are hereby suspended immediately pending the conduct of review of safety procedures by the Coast Guard Special Operations Force and cognizant units.' He explained that the suspension will improve the protocols during training. "As guardians of the sea, our personnel are expected to have relevant knowledge and skills in swimming and saving lives at sea," Gavan added in a statement. Source: Philippines News Agency