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Big waves cause boat to capsize in Caubian island

/ 08:33 AM January 22, 2013

Fishermen in two boats rescued at least 15 persons off the seas of Caubian Island in Lapu-Lapu City after big waves in the area caused the boat they were riding on to capsize.

Those rescued include four government employees from the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Region 7, five police officers, and a mother and her daughter.

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Investigation showed that the group sailed at 10 a.m. from barangay Caw-oy in Olango Island where the DSWD employees had a seminar and validation of new beneficiaries for the Pantawid Pamilyang Program in barangay Caw-oy. They were accompanied by the policemen.

Seminar

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They were heading for Caubian Island to hold another seminar about the program there when the accident happened.

PO1 Basher Boriongan, a Police Community Relations Officer (PCR) of Lapu-Lapu City Police Office, said that they proceeded to Caubian because when we left Caw-oy there was no sign that the waves were big.

But 30 minutes later, they  encountered large waves near their destination.

“We didn’t notice any big waves when we left but when we reached midway between Caw-oy and Caubian, the waves started to get bigger,” he said in Cebuano.

The boatmen tried to maneuver the boat to return to Caw-oy but the big waves caused the boat to capsize at 10:30 a.m., each of the passengers and the three boatmen held on to the capsized boat.

“I thought that we would be lost at sea after the boat capsized and we were left holding on to the boat’s outrigger,” said Grace Gumpay, one of the DSWD-7 workers, in Cebuano. She was still dripping wet when she was interviewed.

Lost

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She said she lost her  bag cellular phone, wallet, flast drive and documents.

PO1 Boriongan lost his gold bracelet worth P70,000, damaged his laptop worth P20,000, digital  camera worth P12,000 and an iPhone worth P12,000. PO1 Baculi lost his .45 caliber pisto with ammunition, cell phone worth P5,000.

Boriongan said they saw two boats near the area and shouted for help but when they didn’t hear them he decided to fire his gun to catch their attention.

Help

But still they didn’t come to help, and so he swam nearer towards the direction of the boat to get their attention and help.

He succeeded in getting the fishermen’s attention and they came to help them.

Those rescued aside from Boriongan and Gumpay were Mae Arante, 21, Corazon Alao, 26, and Chele Jean Catacutan, of the DSWD,  PO1 Francis Baculi, SPO1 Leah Polistico, PO1 Shiela Helongos and PO1 Ofelio Ilustresimo, boatmen Marlon Taghoy, Josie Abadajos,  Fortunator Abadajos Jr., and Archely Naparate, and passengers Carmen and Juliet Abaño. /Correspondent Norman V. Mendoza

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TAGS: Accident, capsized boat
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