Pasil-bound banca capsized Friday night, 27 survive at sea

CEBU CITY (Updated) -- All 27 passengers and crew were rescued from a motor banca that capsized last Friday night (October 16) on its way to Pasil, Cebu City. The crew of two passing vessels saved their lives.

One of their rescuers, Rudyard Payusan, 48, lost his foot after it got caught in the thick rope that he used to tie the banca to a cargo ship.

Payusan is chief mate of the LCT Crescent, which was the first vessel to pass by the area. The banca’s passengers and crew also received help from the M/V Filipinas Dinagat.

Chase Cokaliong, vice president and human resource manager of Cokaliong Shipping Lines, said that the company ordered the captain of Filipinas Dinagat to rescue all those aboard the M/B Mansan. They were informed about the situation at 7:04 a.m. Saturday (October 17).

“We were informed there were people in the water and holding on to the debris of the motor banca. At past 9 a.m. or after two hours, all the victims were rescued alive,” Cokaliong said.

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9 hours

He learned that the banca capsized at 11:50 p.m. Friday, which meant that the survivors had been in the water for around nine hours before being rescued.

Last Friday morning, the weather bureau Pagasa advised fisherfolk to stay away from the eastern seaboard of the Visayas, as well as the northern and western seaboards of Northern Luzon, as Typhoon Lando approached the Aurora-Isabela area.

The typhoon has enough power to create 14-meter-high waves in open sea and storm surges of up to three meters in Aurora, Pagasa said in its 5 p.m .forecast Saturday.

The banca was reportedly traveling from Talibon, Bohol to Pasil, Cebu City.

“We are happy that we saved lives. We gave food to the victims,” Cokaliong said.

The Filipinas Dinagat left the Port of Surigao City at 7 p.m. of October 16 and found the capsized motor banca at 7:04 a.m. Saturday. Strong waves delayed the vessel’s arrival.

Snapped

All the survivors were ferried to Cebu by the Filipinas Dinagat, which arrived Pier 1 in Cebu City at 11:40 a.m. Saturday.

Allan Abapo, one of the banca’s crew, said that the vessel belonged to Nolito Abapo and its captain is Norberto Aparice.

He said they were carrying passengers, fish, seaweeds and shellfish for Pasil when their powerful waves hit the banca.

Naanad na mi og biyahe magabii. Taas pag lutaw ang banca. Nabali lang gyud ang kahoy mao nga nasudlan og tubig (We are used to traveling at night. The banca was riding the waves high but its outrigger snapped and the water rushed in),” Allan Abapo said.

Arnold Arada, head watchman of the Filipinas Dinagat, said he saw Payusan jump from the cargo ship. He found that heroic.

Nilangoy siya paingon sa banca aron hiktan ug birahon paingon sa LCT. Pero nagapos iyang tiil ug naputol (He swam to the banca to tie the rope around it so he could tether it to the cargo ship. But his foot got caught and the rope snapped it off),” Arada said. (See related story.)

Cebu City Vice Mayor Edgar Labella and Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak fetched the victims at Pier 1 and escorted them to the Cebu City Medical Center for a physical examination and treatment.

Warning

Commander Wendell Azcuna, chief of the Philippine Coast Guard Cebu Station, said they learned about the incident from Chester Cokaliong, president and general manager of Cokaliong Shipping Lines.

Azcuna said they will file charges for reckless imprudence resulting in multiple injuries against the banca’s owner, because motorized bancas are not supposed to sail at night.

“We will teach banca owners a lesson,” Azcuna said.

The rescued passengers and crew who hail from Kalitoban Island in Talibon were identified as Marilyn Almacin, 48; Danielita Gabison, 40; Danilo Paterna, 50; Bernie Torion, 23; Julito Pamo, 34; Dalos Cabatugan, 43; Baffy Mias, 12; Joshua Abapo, 23; Cocoy Daan, 44; Neboy, Cabaroba, 35; Josephine Abenosa, 45; Joseph Mark Simacon, 37; Gregoria Cañete, 65; Jomar Mabuyo, 28; Junior Badal, 36; Allan Abapo, 27; and motor banca captain Norberto Aparice, 41.

Those rescued who hail from Kindakpan Island, Talibon were Marissa Otara, 42; Gaudisla Largo, 62; Elping Torion, 65; Nilo Torion, 48; Carmelita Mihiyas, 60; and Abundia Cabantay, 61.

The others who came from other areas were Archilita Pabadon, 27, and Kany Torifel, 65; Rodrigo Oligao, 50, of Mahanay Island, Talibon; and Jassa Torion, 39, of Alomar Island, Talibon.

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