‘Unmistakable Negligence’ seen in Boracay dragon boat mishap

(Photo Courtesy of PCG – Aklan)

MANILA – The Puwersa ng BayaningAtleta (PBA) party-list has condemned the unmistakable negligence of the management of the Boracay Dragon Force Team which caused the death of seven of its athletes when their boat capsized while training off  Boracay Island.

PBA party-list Rep. Jericho Nograles said that for one, it doesn’t make any sense for a dragon boat team like the Boracay Dragon Force (BDF) to be unprepared for that emergency situation.

“We condole with the athletes and their families. Let this incident be a wake up call to all coaches that death and injury can occur for any sport and proper precautions must be followed,” Nograles said.

There is negligence on the part of the BDF for allowing their paddlers to go out on training without wearing the required safety equipment particularly their life vests.

“It should be expected that boats can capsize or things can go wrong during training especially in the open sea where conditions can change anytime. From what I have been told, it turns out that one of the fatalities does not know how to swim. How can that even happen?” Nograles said.

“The fact that dragon boat athletes were not trained to swim or had no safety devices can constitute negligence,” added Nograles.

PBA President Mark Aeron Sambar said that the incident involving the BDF should trigger action from Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) to be more persistent in requiring National Sports Associations (NSAs) to regularly conduct risk assessment and strictly practice all the needed safety protocols during training and during actual competition.

The report, attested to by Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer II Catherine O. Fulgencio, said the victims were not wearing life vests and one of them did not know how to swim. So all 7 died without life vest and one did not know how to swim was noted by Sambar.

Additionally, Nograles reminded, “Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code states:

‘It is clear under our penal laws that any person who, by simple imprudence or negligence, shall commit an act which would otherwise constitute a grave felony, shall suffer the penalty of arresto mayor in its medium and maximum periods and  if it constituted a less serious felony, the penalty of arresto mayor in its minimum period shall be imposed.’”