ArchivesDecember 201325 saved from capsized boat

25 saved from capsized boat

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Twenty-five passengers and four crew members of a medium-sized fishing boat were rescued Tuesday morning after the vessel capsized due to big waves while en route to the famous dive destination, Apo Island, off the coast of Negros Oriental, to attend the island’s annual fiesta celebration.{{more}}

The F/B Albert, skippered by Roselito Sangual, was ferrying the passengers across to Apo Island from the Malatapay Terminal in Maluay, Zamboanguita town, about 30 minutes drive south of here, when the weather suddenly turned bad about halfway into the trip, said Lt. Commander Agapito Bibat, commander of the Coast Guard Station in Dumaguete.

It would take an estimated 30 to 45 minutes to get to the island, said Bibat, who also noted that the seawaters between Apo Island and Malatapay could get rough due to unpredictable weather.

Initial reports from the Coast Guard showed that the fishing boat, owned by a certain Alberto Sangual of Zamboanguita town, left the Malatapay wharf around 9:15 a.m. and luckily, another rental motorboat, the M/B Shana, which also carried a few passengers, was traveling behind them when the accident happened, said Bibat.

Aside from the crewmembers and passengers of the M/B Shana, a team from the Negros Oriental Search and Rescue led by Alejandro Somoza also helped in the rescue operations that lasted for about an hour at which all those who were in the water were all accounted for and brought to Apo Island.

The capsized pumpboat was also towed to the island.

Those rescued were identified as Alberto Aldenese, Melchora Tuban, Moises Baga, Loreto Daymil, Desideria Daymil, Pondadera Aldenesel, Efren Aldenese, Warlito Samy, Susan Mama, Peter Aboyabor, Jaja Cataylo, Edie Toto, Miguela Batayonon, Rogelita Tuballa, Gimbon Tuballa, Federico Tuballa, Ian Lee Patrimonio, Theresa Lopez, Ginette Vicuna, Jerecho Duran, Jezrell Poblacion, John Rey Partosa, Jade Acabal, Ma. Geselda Casido, Jose Vernon Lopita, Petchria Sol, Ronald Teves, and Noel Enojo.

Lt. Commander Bibat said the Coast Guard station at Malatapay had determined that the F/B Albert was not overloaded, as its maximum carrying capacity is 30 passengers per trip.

The Coast Guard did not cancel any trips to Apo Island and back even after the incident, although its personnel were continuously monitoring the weather conditions on Tuesday.

Some foreign nationals were also seen returning to Malatapay from a dive trip to Apo Island while a foreign couple also chartered another motorboat to go diving on the same day. (PNA) JFP

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