Bacolod City—The bodies of two of nine missing crew members of F/V St. Peter the Fisherman II have been recovered near Bantayan Island on Saturday night, more than 24 hours after the vessel sank off northern Iloilo and Cebu on Friday morning.
Information from the Philippine Coast Guard-Negros Occidental identified one of the fatalities as fish harvester Rommel Engle, whose body was brought home to Cadiz City, Negros Occidental at around 11 p.m. on Saturday.
The other crew member, Norberto Parlotzo, was a resident of Bantayan Island.
Divers recovered their bodies at around 7:30 p.m., about 44 meters deep.
“Since the seven are not found yet, it is possible that there are survivors,” said Capt. Ludovico Librilla, deputy commander of Coast Guard District Western Visayas, in an interview on Sunday.
Librilla said they have requested for assistance from the PCG central office to conduct a marine casualty investigation.
The seven missing are boat captain Frankie Chavez of Toboso, Negros Occidental; chief engineer Herminio Ronamo of Estancia, Iloilo; third engineer Manuel Auditor; steersmen Renante Forsuelo and Victor Calvo; and cook Julian Dungog, all of Cadiz City, Negros Occidental; and fish harvester Julit Salvo of Don Salvador Benedicto, Negros Occidental.
Search operations are ongoing as of posting time, according to Commander Jansen Benjamin, chief of staff of CGDWV.
The CGDWV deployed the BRP Nueva Vizcaya and the PCG-manned Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources vessel, MCS-3010, to conduct search and rescue operations.
In an earlier report, the PCG said 31 fishermen were on board, with 22 rescued by the crew of sister vessel F/V Old Man and the Sea.
They were taken to the Cadiz City Commercial Port in Barangay Bangkerohan on Friday afternoon.
F/V St. Peter the Fisherman II, owned by Tristar Fishing Corp., sank off Tanguingui Island in Northern Cebu and Gigantes Island in Iloilo early morning on Friday after sailing from northern Negros due tostrong winds and big waves, according to the report.