Officers of the Department of Public Safety’s Boating Safety Section responded to eight incidents on Saipan in the past seven days alone, including the search for two missing Japanese sisters, stranded divers, near drowning, and stranded swimmers/kayakers.
DPS Commissioner James Deleon Guerrero said yesterday that these things happened despite the government’s warning of an impending storm.
He urged people to heed these warnings and take them seriously.
Deleon Guerrero said that when something like this happens, DPS has to divert some of its resources in order to attend to another developing emergency.
“So something as simple as staying on the land would have prevented us from that particular area, diverting some resources,” he said.
BSS commander Sgt. Thomas Blas Jr. said they were in the midst of searching for two missing Japanese sisters when they received a report on Thursday about an unidentified floating object in Laulau Bay.
Blas said they retrieved the object, which was a large cargo net that probably fell off from a ship.
Blas said they responded on Friday to a report about stranded swimmers at the Grotto. He said when they got to the Grotto, a security guard from G4S had already rescued the seven stranded divers, using a ring buoy.
Blas said the guard went down to the dive site and assisted the seven divers in safely returning to the shore.
On Saturday, Blas said, they responded to an incident of near drowning at Obyan Beach.
On Sunday, he said, they responded to three incidents—a near drowning at Fishing Base in Garapan, stranded paddle boarders in San Antonio, and a stranded kayaker at Sugar Dock.
At the Liberation Day grounds in Fishing Base, a boy fell into the water but was soon rescued.
In the San Antonio incident, family members rescued two stranded minors on paddle boards. Blas said family members used a kayak to go to the reef line and pulled the stranded minors to safety.
At Sugar Dock, a stranded male kayaker got swept out beyond the reef by large waves and could not return to shore. BSS officers rescued him.
Blas said a 19-year-old male on a boogie board became stranded at Sugar Dock yesterday afternoon but BSS officers rescued him.