Boat carrying ‘copra’ sinks near Burias Island; all crew, passengers safe
NAGA CITY, Philippines — A motorized boat carrying sacks of copra from Masbate with 57 persons on board sank near Burias Island on Sunday morning, the Philippine Coast Guard in Bicol said.
Petty Officer Third Class Jobert Ehurango, assistant in-charge of operation of PCG Bicol, said the motorized banca (MB) Jonalyn had just left the San Pascual port in Masbate’s Burias Island at around 3 a.m. and was bound for Pasacao, Camarines Sur, when a floating log punctured its side, causing water to rush in and swamp the boat.
Ehurango said the boat was carrying 200 sacks of copra, five crew members and 52 passengers to Pasacao port when it sank off the Animasola Islet.
He said the boat captain and owner, Sulpicio Eliot Sr., did not see the floating log as he was then maneuvering the vessel out of the port area. The boat proceeded to sail until it sank off Animasola Islet, which was just minutes away, or about 3 meters, from Burias Island.
He added that all passengers and crew members were rescued safely by PCG personnel in Masbate.
The passengers, after a medical check, later boarded a regular boat trip to Pasacao, he said.
Senior Police Officer 1 Zandro Cabintoy, spokesman of the Masbate Provincial Police Office, said elements from the San Pascual Municipal Police Station and PCG Masbate brought the passengers and crew to the San Pascual Health Unit for medical attention.
PCG personnel in Masbate reported that the banca completely sank, Ehurango added.
He said the PCG has been looking into the sinking, particularly since the boat was supposed to be a private service vessel and was undocumented by PCG.
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