Australian dies as boat capsizes off Siargao in Australia-to-Subic sailing attempt

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews / 18 Dec) – An Australian sailor died while floating in the waters off Siargao Island for six days when he and two friends attempted to sail from Australia to Subic Bay but their boat capsized, sketchy police reports said.

Siargao Island, facing the Pacific Ocean, is known for its big waves that it has become the country’s surfing capital. MindaNews file photo by ROEL N. CATOTO

Reports said the Australians were floating 50 miles off Siargao when spotted by two local fishermen 10 a.m. Sunday. But by then Anthony John Mahoney, 73, of Queensland, was reportedly already unconscious.

Lawrence Alered Mallea, 68, also of Queensland; and Lionec Peter Ansselin, 74, who is at present residing in Baccuit Sur in Bauang, La Union, are now recuperating at the Adela Serra Ty Memorial Medical Center in Tandag City, police said.

PO3 Evelyn Tidula, of the Tandag police, said Jonnifer Piosang and Albert Murillo saw the Australians holding on to a life buoy waving their hands while the fishermen were on their way back to Tandag.

They then rescued the fishermen and brought them to a hospital in Tandag.

“The victims who were floating in the waters for six days kept holding on to their life buoy,” Tidula told MindaNews over mobile phone Monday afternoon.

“Unfortunately, Anthony John Mahoney did not make it as he was unconscious at the time they were rescued,” she said.

Tidula said the Australians were sailing from Australia and heading towards Subic Bay aboard a yacht when it capsized due to a hole in the vessel’s lower portion.

“Based on the post-mortem examination, Mahoney died of severe dehydration,” she said, adding that the two survivors are now in stable condition.

Police has no further details yet but it was learned that the survivors would be brought to this city on Tuesday. (Roel N. Catoto / MindaNews)