2 Chinese tourists dead as winds throw them off sailboat near Panglao
TAGBILARAN CITY — Two Chinese nationals died after falling from a sailboat battered by strong winds off Panglao Island on Sunday (Dec. 29).
Seaman First Class Mark Philip Tan, of the Philippine Coast Guard station in western Bohol, said the two fatalities were among 10 Chinese tourists aboard a sailboat that took them on a sunset cruise off Dojo Point past 3 p.m. on Sunday.
The sailboat was registered to Island Surfer Paraw Sailing.
As the sailboat reached Dojo Point, strong winds buffetted the vessel, throwing the two Chinese—Lan Rong, 56, and Luo Rennei, 63–overboard.
The sailboat is the paraw type, a traditional Filipino outrigger. It uses two outriggers and two sails. It is motor-free and generates thrusts derived from the wind.
The sailboat’s crewmen, Rufino Labastida, 46, and Randy Anligis, 24, jumped from the sailboat to save the tourists, but they also drifted away from the boat.
Tan said the Chinese were retrieved from the water an hour later by Motor Yacht Elizabeth II which passed by the area from Balicasag Island on its way to Tagbilaran City.
But it was too late. When Lan and Luo were picked up from the water, they were already unconcscious. First aid responders tried to do CPR but to no avail.
Lan and Luo were already dead when the Motor Yacht Elizabeth II arrived at the Tagbilaran City Port past 5 p.m.
Tan said the eight other Chinese nationals were rescued by another vessel of Island Surfer and were safely brought back to mainland Panglao.
He said the Chinese tourists were not wearing life vests.
The bodies of the fatalities were brought to a local funeral parlor while the boat’s crew members were locked up at the Panglao Police Station to face investigation.
Tan said the Coast Guard is determining if paraw-type sailboats are appropriate for tourism activities and if there was overloading.
Paraws are used mainly for fishing and transportation of people in the Visayas.
Paraw-sailing is a major tourist attraction offered by resorts on Panglao Island for island hopping and sunset cruises.
Edited by TSB
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