Iloilo boat sinking: 3 dead, 3 are still missing
ILOILO CITY—A search and rescue operation has been launched for three passengers of a boat that capsized in the waters off Carles town in Iloilo province on New Year’s Day, killing three persons, including two children, authorities said yesterday.
Five passengers of the boat, which was carrying 11 people, survived the tragedy.
The boat left Nabunut Island in Carles around 3 p.m. for Gigantes Norte, another island, carrying passengers who had celebrated New Year in Nabunut.
About two hours after it left Nabunut, however, waves and strong winds battered the vessel, causing it to capsize.
Commodore Athelo Ybañez, Coast Guard Western Visayas commander, said among those who survived was Reynaldo Bartolome, owner of the capsized boat. Bartolome, according to Ybañez, swam for at least two hours to reach Gigantes Sur Island, near Gigantes Norte, where he sought help from residents.
The mishap was reported to the Coast Guard on Friday morning, prompting the launch of the search and rescue operation.
Rescuers recovered four survivors around 4 p.m. and brought them to the Jesus Colmenares District Hospital in Balasan town in Iloilo. They were identified as Marivic Bartolome, 19; Ruffa Bartolome, 24; Jeramiel Besonia and Glorijane Rualio.
Three other passengers were pronounced dead on arrival. The Coast Guard identified the fatalities as Cristel Jane Rualio, two-year-old Cristop Jan Rualio and 10-year-old Jesabel Bartolome.
Carles Vice Mayor Edsel Betita told Inquirer that two of the three missing passengers are presumed dead and their bodies carried by strong currents, quoting the survivors’ account.
Ybañez said the Coast Guard received a report that two bodies were spotted on Manigo-nigo Island but rough seas prevented Coast Guard personnel from reaching the area yesterday.
The bodies seen in Manigo-nigo are believed to be of Anthony Bartolome, 14, and Jay-R Besonia.
There is no word on the 11th passenger, Vincent Bartolome, who is also missing.
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