LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines—Nine excursionists were rescued Thursday night after their motorized banca capsized in rough waters between Samar and Sorsogon provinces, the Philippine Coast Guard here said Friday.
Honorio Mangaoang, duty officer of the PCG-Legazpi, said the unnamed motorboat with nine persons onboard overturned Thursday in the San Bernardino Strait—known to be dangerous to small vessels—off Juag Island, Matnog town, Sorsogon.
He said that initially, only four boat passengers were rescued by the Coast Guard that received the report about the distressed boat at 6:47 p.m. Thursday from the MV Grand Star Roro 3 of Philippine Harbor Shipping.
The first four rescued were identified as Jay Ann Veterbo, 19; Jean Veterbo, 18; Rolando Bacodjo, 29; and Randy Gillego, 30.
Mangaoang added that the Coast Guard in Matnog Port was able to rescue the other five passengers. They were identified as Argie Neblazo, 27; Joneal Veterbo, 21; Julius Esoren, 34; Alvin Gardoque, 28; and Godofredo Veterbo, 51.
Mangaoang said the nine passengers, who were all accounted for around 7:30 p.m., were residents of Barangay Sta. Isabel, Sta. Magdalena, Sorsogon who went swimming off Tikling Island.
“The group was on its way back to Sta. Isabel when their boat encountered a very strong current that caused it to overturn and drift toward Juag Island,” he added.
All nine were in good physical condition and able to return home safely Friday morning, the coast guard said.
By Rey M. Nasol
Inquirer Southern Luzon