Boat sinks in Surigao; passengers, crew saved

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/25 September) — Fourteen-passengers and crewmembers were rescued when a motorized banca sank on Monday morning off Bucas Grande Island in Surigao del Norte, the Philippine Coast Guard said.

The boat marked CMO (City Mayor’s Office) and owned by the Surigao City government was heading to Surigao City from Dapa Port when it encountered big waves spawned by the southwest monsoon.

Among those rescued were close-in body guards of Surigao City Mayor Ernesto T. Matugas and some personnel of the city police.

They were identified as SPO3 Richie Ticmon, SPO2 Teodorico Bano, Inspector Joel Cabanes, SPO3 Johnson Juanite, SPO1 Octavious Pontillo, P02 Eric Balinia, Harold Lopez, Rito Enopo, Romualdo Escabal, Dindo Bulactial, P03 Frederick Cosmiano, and Reynaldo, Bernabe and Bergelyn Camingue.

M/V LQP-1, a passenger boat on its way to Surigao City rescued the said passengers.

Matugas said he could have taken the ill-fated boat if not for his wife’s advice to ride a bigger vessel.

He thanked the M/V LQP-1 crewmembers for saving the crewmembers and passengers of CMO.

CMO also sank in April this year when its hull was breached while docking at the city boulevard.

The local government is planning to purchase a new and bigger boat to be used in going to the city’s 21 island villages. (Roel N. Catoto/MindaNews)