Banca sinks near Calbayog port, 52 passengers saved

Tacloban City—The Philippine Coast Guard and other units have rescued at least 52 passengers, seven boat crew and a captain of a motorized banca that capsized off the waters of Samar on Monday.

Banca sinks near Calbayog port, 52 passengers saved
Passengers scramble for safety as their boat MB Miar Romces capsizes off the waters of Calbayog City, Samar on Monday. All 52 passengers and boat crew were rescued by the Philippine Coast Guard. Photo courtesy of Analyn Calimbo
Authorities said the incident happened at the waters of Barangay Matobato, Calbayog City, as the rescuers came to the aid of a passenger boat marked “MB Miar Romces” at around 11:40 a.m. Monday.

Responding authorities saw the boat sinking about one kilometer from the port area.

“This was the worst experience, not knowing if I would live or die,” wrote passenger Analyn Calimbo on Facebook shortly after the incident. “The rescuers took a while to get to us, yet you could see the boat slowly sinking. Thank you so much Lord for not leaving us.”

Initial investigation showed that the boat left the Calbayog City port at Barangay Aguit-itan at about 11:30 a.m. Upon reaching the seawaters of Matobato, the boat suddenly sank due to the strong current of waves brought about by the southwest monsoon.

The boat was on its way to Tagapul-an town in Samar. The rescued passengers and boat crew are being attended by personnel of the city’s Bureau of Fire Protection. Also joining the rescue were members from the Calbayog City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, Maritime Group, and Lite Ferries Crews.

This incident comes after a motorized banca capsized off Iloilo and Guimaras waters due to bad weather, killing 31 people.

Topics: Philippine Coast Guard , capsized , banca , Samar , “MB Miar Romces”
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