5 farmers drown in Surigao Sur

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews / 4 January) – Five beachgoers were killed in a drowning incident in Lianga town in Surigao del Sur on Wednesday afternoon, police said.

The victims were identified as Joseph Cajutol, 34; Ronald Getigan Baghucan, 19; Fernando Besing, 24; Alvin Almosera, 19; and Roland Lagata, all farmers from Barangay Santiago, San Luis town in Agusan del Sur.

The incident happened in Sitio Pugad, Barangay Payasan, Lianga.

A coastal community in Lianga, Surigao del Sur. MindaNews file photo

Police Officer 2 Greg Sinday, investigating officer of Lianga Municipal Police Office told MindaNews in a phone interview that the victims were having fun in the beach as part of the long holidays.

Sinday quoted a companion of the victims named Dalman Handogon as saying that one of them got into the deeper part of the water and struggled to get back to the shallow portion.

Handogon said the others tried to rescue their companion but all of them drowned instead as they didn’t know how to swim.

Sinday said that at that time they got into the water the current was getting strong and it was already high tide.

“Handogon admitted that all of them were under the influence of alcohol,” he added.

The police officer said Cajutol, Baghucan and Besing were retrieved 25 minutes after the drowning and rushed to Lianga District Hospital but pronounced dead by a physician.

Almosera and Lagata were later found lifeless close to midnight on Wednesday. (Roel N. Catoto/MindaNews)