SIX people were rescued after a motorized banca they were riding capsized in the midst of big waves off La Libertad, Negros Oriental yesterday morning.
SPO1 Ramiro Gocotano, investigator of La Libertad Police Station, said the private banca came from Moalboal, Cebu where the passengers attended a funeral of a relative last Saturday.
The passengers were Jodan Oliveros, 33, and his relative Jimboy, 18, both from Barangay Martilo, La Libertad; Edwin Bolhano, 47; Tony Lingayao, 33; his wife Saling, 42; and nine-year-old daughter Rosellier, all from Barangay Tala-on, La Libertad.
Gocotano said the banca operated by Oliveros set sail past 6 a.m. in Barangay Basdiot, Moalboal and was supposed to arrive two hours later.
In the middle of their trip, the banca lost power. While they were drifting in the water, big waves overturned the double outrigger craft.
They wait for sea vessels to save them, but none passed by.
Oliveros decided to swim back to La Libertad to ask for help while the passengers held on to the outrigger to stay afloat.
Oliveros reached the shores off Barangay San Jose at 11:30 a.m., and a concerned citizen immediately called local police about the incident.
Through the help of fishermen and civilian volunteers, the La Libertad policemen conducted a search and rescue operation.
The rescuers found the other passengers already in the waters off Ayungon town, about a half-kilometer or 30-minute trip from La Libertad.
“Kusog kuno kaayo ang sug sa ilawom maong nadala sila didto (The current was so strong),” Gocotano told Sun.Star Cebu.
They brought the victims to the police station and feed them.
“Gutom intawon kaayo sila. Naa man miy sobra nga bahaw ug bihon. Mao intawon ilang gisaw-an (They were very hungry),” the police investigator said.
Later, the police brought the victims to the town’s rural health center and were released after their medical examination.
“Wala ra gyud sila naunsa. Ang bata murag na-trauma ‘to pag-una pero karon ok na siya (They are now fine),” the Gocotano added.