1 dead, 3 injured after motorbanca sinks off Romblon
MANILA, Philippines (Updated) — A 55-year-old woman died and three others were injured after a passenger boat sank in the seas off Corcuera town in Romblon province on Saturday, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) reported.
The MB King Sto. Niño 7 with 34.13 gross tonnage was half-submerged near Corcuera around 12:30 p.m., the PCG said in the report. One of the passengers called the PCG station in Corcuera and reported that the sea vessel was in distress.
A report from the PCG-Southern Tagalog District said one of the boat passengers died from cardiac arrest. The PCG withheld the identity of the woman until her close family members had been notified.
Personnel from PCG stations in Corcuera rushed to the site and rescued 89 passengers, including 10 children and five crews. They were brought to the coastal village of Ilijan for immediate medical assistance and support.
But, in a phone interview with Inquirer Saturday afternoon, Corcuera Mayor Elmer Fruelda said 111 passengers and five crew members were rescued by the PCG and disaster response officials.
Three of the passengers — January Vien Defeo, 16; Hazel Jane Faderagao, 23; and Ira Mariz Fruelda, 17, all residents of Corcuera — sustained slight injuries, the report said. The injured were brought to Malapayon District Hospital for further medical treatment.
The report said the boat left Calatrava port around 11 a.m. amid favorable sea and weather conditions.
The sea vessel was bound for Corcuera port with five crew and 90 passengers with one motorcycle onboard. The boat’s authorized passenger capacity is up to 96 people, the PCG said.
Citing information from boat captain, Jose Moreno Sr., the passenger boat half-submerged “due to a direct hit from a solid wood” at its left side.
Fruelda said the passengers came from a summer youth camp on an island in Calatrava in mainland Tablas. Some of the passengers were stranded on the island for two days because of rough seas.
“There was no gale warning so they took the trip this morning, and they were near their destination, about 30 minutes away to Simara, when the sinking happened,” he said.
Corcuera Vice Mayor Aubrey Fondevilla said the local government unit of Corcuera, along with the PCG, concluded its search and rescue operations past 4 p.m.