Two Chinese nationals, a male and a female, died after falling off a sailboat which was on a sunset cruise and later battered by strong waves in Doljo Point off Panglao on Sunday afternoon, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said.
According to SN1 Mark Philip Tan of PCG Western Bohol Station, strong winds suddenly emerged after the seacraft, licensed under Island Surfer Paraw Sailing, set sail from Doljo, Panglao at past 3:30 p.m., causing two Chinese nationals identified as Lan Rong, 56, and Luo Renwei, 63, to be thrown overboard just “300 meters” away from the Panglao mainland.
“Pag layag nila sa Doljo Point hing kalit kuno og kusog ang hangin. Kaning sailboat wala man gud niy makina, hangin ray gadala. Pag hangin accidentally kuno nahagbong ang duha ka Chinese nationals,” he said.
Two of the sailboat’s only crewmen, Rufino Labastida, 46, and Randy Anligis, 24, jumped from the craft and went after Lan and Luo, leaving eight other Chinese tourists behind. The crewmen were able to get to the two victims who were not wearing lifejackets, but they all drifted away from the craft.
Tan said that it took an hour before a yacht M/Y Elizabeth II from Balicasag Island passed by and rescued them. However Lan and Luo were already unconscious prompting crewmen of the vessel to perform CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) but to no avail.
The two Chinese nationals were already declared dead due to drowning when the yacht arrived at 5:35 p.m. at the Tagbilaran City Port where the PCG and TaRSIER 117 personnel were deployed.
Meanwhile, the eight other Chinese nationals were rescued by another vessel of Island Surfer and were safely brought back to Panglao.
According to Tan, they will conduct further investigations as to why the vessel which rescued the eight other passengers on board the distressed sailboat did not go after the two others who went overboard along with the two crewmen.
Authorities will also look into the sailboat’s capacity and documents to operate.
“Amo pud ng e-check kay ang ingon ni kapitan [Labastida] na 10 ang capacity kuno, pero tan-awon pa namo kung wa ba ma overload,” said Tan.
Both fatalities were reportedly not wearing lifejackets while on board the sailboat as they refused to wear one, but authorities will also still look into the report.
According to Executive Master Sgt. Progreso Macua of the Panglao Police Station, Labastida and Anligis were placed under their custody pending the investigation on the incident and the decision of the victims’ families to whether or not file a complaint.
“Huwat sa lang mi diri pero naa sila diri sa among custody,” he said.