MALAY, Aklan – The family and friends grieved the loss of the 31-year old Boracay paddler Mark Vincent Navarrete from Libacao, Aklan.
Navarrete was among the seven confirmed casualties in a drowning incident in Boracay Island on Sept. 25. He was declared “dead on arrival” in Malay Municipal Hospital.
“Dadalhin namin siya sa Libacao, Aklan para doon iburol. Mabait siya na anak. Tinanggap na namin ang nangyari, hindi naman natin ito kagustuhan,” said Mark’s mother Marissa. “Hindi na siya nakapag-asawa dahil tumutulong siya sa kanyang mga kapatid para makapag-aral.”
Mark’s body was transported to a local funeral home in Kalibo, Aklan.
Aside from Navarrete, Comar Acob also died in Malay Municipal Hospital while couple Maricel and Johann Tan, Richel Montuya and Rose Antonette Supranes were declared “dead on arrival” in Saint Gabriel Medical Center-Boracay in Manocmanoc and John Vincent Natividad in Metropolitan Doctors Clinic in Balabag.
Of the 21 members of Boracay Dragonforce and Boracay Dragonflies, 14 survived the tragic incident. They were Lanie Ordas, Jaylord Violanda, Marc Sabadao, Jao Javier Buenaventura, Kathleen Sabadao, Edwin Paradai, Yhen Aytona, Janice Lumbo, Robel Licerio, Mark Baccay, Julia Kurbaniizova, Kenneth Bandalan and Maggie Xie.
Von Navarosa, the team’s founder, is presently admitted in a hospital for further treatment.
The incident happened at around 7:30 a.m. about 200 to 300 meters from shoreline of Lingganay Resort in Sitio Tulubhan in Manocmanoc.
According to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), the 20-seater boat capsized while the paddlers were training for Kaohsiung City Cup in Taiwan on Nov. 8 to 10.
“Gusto nating malaman bakit hindi sila nakaligtas. Karamihan sa kanila ay taga-Boracay. Ganun talaga pag ganitong mga buwan, medyo treacherous ang dagat. Minsan pag-alis mo sa pangpang maganda ang panahon, at biglang lalakas ang hangin at alon sa gitna,” said Captain Armando Balilo, spokesperson of the PCG.
“One of the survivors noted the sea was calm when they departed from Bulabog, however, after the reef, rough waves gradually filled the boat with water. The boat sank, and the paddlers were holding on to the boat. However, strong waves and current made the boat rolled over making it unstable and displaced the paddlers,” acting Malay mayor Floribar Bautista said.(With Akean Forum/PN)