Search, rescue and retrieval operation ends; all passengers, crew of capsized boats accounted

SEARCH FOR SURVIVORS. Onboard BRP Alfredo Pecson, a Philippine Navy personnel scans the vast expanse of the Iloilo Strait in the hope of finding more survivors from Saturday’s (Aug. 3, 2019) capsizing of three motorboats hit by a squall. Twenty-eight persons have so far been confirmed to have drowned. IAN PAUL CORDERO/PN

ILOILO City – The search, rescue and retrieval operations for survivors and casualties of Saturday’s capsizing of three motorboats in the Iloilo Strait have ended. All the 83 passengers and 13 boat crewmen have been accounted.

All the 13 crew of the motorboats and 52 passengers survived while 31 others died.

“We have no more operations but our floating assets remain on standby,” according to Donna Magno, spokesperson of the Joint Iloilo-Guimaras Incident Command Post set up for the maritime tragedy.

The last of the casualties were found on Tuesday – Jhaeron Mars Salanatin, 13; Romnel Baguio, 31; and Danelle Baguio, four.

Magno said the previously reported missing “Maria Granado” was not in any of the three motorboats’ manifestos.

Upon validation with barangay officials, it also became clear that there was no such name or resident in Guimaras.

Also, said Magno, another reported missing person, Rey Grajo, surfaced and clarified that his real name was Jonathan Magan.

On the other hand, Jose Cyril Serrato, who was earlier reported as missing, presented himself to authorities to prove he survived the boat capsizing.

On Aug. 3 at around 12:15 p.m., a squall or sudden gust of violent wind and torrential rails hit M/B Chi Chi (which was carrying 45 passengers and four crewmen) and M/B Keziah 2 (with five crew).

Both boats were bound for Jordan, Guimaras from the Iloilo Parola Wharf.

All crew of the two pump boats and 34 passengers survived while 11 died.

After around three hours, MB Jenny Vince carrying 38 passengers and four crew members left Buenavista, Guimaras.

After around 30 minutes it capsized. Its four crew and 22 passengers survived while 20 died. (With a report from the Philippine News Agency/PN)


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