A total of 69 passengers and five crew members of a motorized banca which experienced engine trouble and later on hull damage which caused the boat to take in water were rescued in seawaters off Cordova, Cebu.
According to Ensign Nigel Khan Pia, assistant operations officer of the Philippine Coast Guard’s Central Visayas district office, MBCA Meme 5 which was bound for Getafe, Bohol from Cordova was half-submerged at past 7 a.m. on Tuesday.
The PCG after being alerted by the Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office in Cordova immediately deployed BRP Capones (MRRV 4404) carrying a medical team and divers to rescue passengers and crew of the ill-fated boat.
According to Fredie Melecio, one of the MBCA Meme 5’s passengers, they were immediately hit by strong waves 10 minutes after leaving Cordova damaging the boat’s hull and causing it to take in water.
“Nag-panic jud me ato tanan kay dagko kaayo ang bawod,” he said.
Melecio said that the PCG personnel were able to get to them 30 minutes after the incident started.
However, Pia said that the PCG will still be conducting a probe to identify the cause of the incident.
They will also be determining whether or not the boat has complete documents to ferry passengers. (Allen Doydora)