BINANGONAN, Rizal – Eight persons, two of them children drowned while five others survived when the boat they were riding sank off Laguna de Bay while on their way home after attending a birthday treat at one of the native huts built inside a fish pen area here Sunday afternoon.
In an interview with PNA, Nolasco Celestra, operations chief of the Binangonan Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO), said 13 passengers, most of them family members, boarded the fiberglass boat on their way home around 1:30 p.m. on Sunday after a birthday treat in one of the native huts on stilts in the fish pen in Laguna Lake off Binangonan town.
Celestra said MDRRMO team of emergency responders and rescuers were immediately dispatched after receiving the distress call at about 1:45 p.m. Sunday.
He said that Philippine Coast Guard rescuers and divers stationed in the area and local fishermen assisted in scouring the waters some 7.5 feet deep and were able to rescue five people and retrieve the eight bodies.
The fatalities were identifed as Rolina Parreño, 43 years old, of South Signal Village, Taguig City; Diana Parreño, 2, also of Taguig City; Frederick Orteza, 39, marine supervisor of Taguig City; Weldy Parreño, 42; Jean Wilfred Orteza, 9, student from Taguig City; Marlon Gimena Candol, 39, of San Andres, Cainta, Rizal; Marilou Barbo Papa, 44, of San Andres, Cainta; and Demaret Mendoza also of Taguig City.
The survivors included Grace Parreño, 40; Josh Parreño, 10; Maxine Orteza, 7, all of Taguig City; Merlita Dominel, 43 of San Andres, Cainta, Rizal and the boat operator Jerson Decreto of Macamot, Binangonan, Rizal.
According to Celestra, the five survivors narrated that the boat, with only one outrigger, tilted when most of the passengers converged to one side of the boat for their selfies and groupies.
He said that the boat tilted and overturned with eight passengers under it and eventually drowned as the boat capsized. Five other passengers had jumped off and struggled to swim towards the nearest shoreline when they were rescued.
The MDRRMO team of emergency responders, coast guard and fisherfolks rushed the eight fatalities and survivors to the Margarito Duavit Hospital in Binangonan.
MDRRMO said there was no overloading as the boat capacity is for 25 passengers. (PNA)