LEGAZPI CITY – Nine island excursionists nearly lost their lives along the San Bernardino Strait, which is known to be very rough and dangerous to small vessels, as they were negotiating the waters between Samar and Sorsogon provinces, the Philippine Coast Guard in Legazpi City said.
Coastguard duty officer Honorio Mangaoang said that at around 6:47 p.m. Thursday, the agency received report that MV Grand Star Roro 3 of Philippine Harbor Shipping through marine band radio that an unnamed service motor banca capsized at the vicinity of Juag Island in Matnog, Sorsogon with nine persons on board but only four of the victims were initially rescued by the Roro vessel.
The first four rescued were Jay Ann Veterbo, 19; Jean Veterbo, 18; Rolando Bacodjo, 29; and Randy Gillego, 30.
According to Mangaoang, the coast guard personnel based in Matnog port had also rescued five others from the same banca.
The coastguard search and rescue team saved Argie Neblazo, 27; Joneal Veterbo, 21; Julius Esoren, 34; Alvin Gardoque, 28 and Godofredo Veterbo, 51.
The nine survivors are residents of Sta. Isabel, Sta. Magdalena, Sorsogon who went swimming at Tikling Island.
The boat capsized after it was battered by very strong currents on it way back to Barangay Sta. Isabel. The boat drifted towards Juag Island.
According to the Philippine Coast Guard, the victims were provided medical and other necessary assistance. They went home this morning. (PNA) FFC/LQ/MDR
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *