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PDRRMO trains water rescuers for canyooneering

| by: Xerxes Alkuino

With canyoneering becoming the latest attraction in the south, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) trained water rescuers in Alegria.

Dennis Cortes, chief of operations, PDRRMO, said the municipal government of Alegria requested for the training as more adventure seekers trooped to its canyoneering site at Kanlaob Falls in Barangay Compostela.

At least 30 participants joined the training, 15 of them were tour guides and the other half were municipal employees.

Previously, the Department of Tourism had conducted training to the tour guides but not really focused on water rescue, according to Cortes.

The training lasted for five days. It started on January 11 with a series of lectures. It ended last January 15 with a simulation of a rescue operation on the site where a tour guide drowned two years ago.

The canyooneering enthusiasts may choose to start in Compostela and end up in municipality of Badian, Kawasan Falls. Hence, Cortes said they are also planning to hold similar training for the tour guides in Badian.

Rechele Torsiende of municipal DRRMO, stated that Brgy. Compostela identified at least 90 individuals who will be trained for water rescue operations.

She said they were hopeful that there will be no more accidents involving the canyoneering or in case there is, they will be able to handle the emergency by themselves.

Aldrin Carba was regarded as the pioneer in canyoneering. He was an acclaimed tour guide among his colleagues, but went missing in July 2014 when he was assisting his visitors in the canyoneering site.

Due to the lack of local rescuers his body was found after only 29 hours of search.

The present rates of the canyoneering activity in Alegria include P50 entrance fee, P150 for the gear, and P500 dive fee.