A 12-YEAR-OLD boy who fell into the water of Malingin Falls in Lower Tal-ot, Barangay Valencia, Carcar City, Cebu last Saturday morning was found dead yesterday afternoon.
The body of Rosemar Sosa was found floating 25 to 30 feet below the water’s surface at 2:30 p.m. He was a sixth grader and the eldest in a brood of four.
“Sukad-sukad wa pay nakatugkad ana (No one has ever reached its bottom),” said Valencia chief tanod Eladio Pananganan.
The village guard, in a phone interview, said the boy was with his two cousins, aged 11 and 12. (The village is about nine kilometers from City Hall in Poblacion I.)
The boys swam in the shallow portion of the river at 8 a.m. Two hours later, they decided to go home since it was raining.
The boy was walking on the slippery riverbank when he slip and fell 40 feet below. His head hit the rocks and he fell unconscious into the water. It was around 11 a.m.
“Nagbanda-banda daw na siya sa mga bato pagkatagak. Posible patay na siya pag-abot sa tubig (The boy reportedly fell on the rocks. It was possible that he was already dead when he fell into the water),” said Jojo Campugan, the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) chief.
Sosa’s cousins, who are still young, were afraid to swim and rescue him. The boys reported the incident to their relatives, who in turn sought help from barangay officials.
A team from the CDRRMO arrived in the area at 4 p.m., two hours after the incident was reported to them.
The team, however, failed to bring their equipment oxygen tanks.
Pananganan said the team returned to their office and came back past 5 p.m. to begin the search.
The search was stopped at 8 p.m. and it resumed at 7 a.m. yesterday. Campugan said they sought help from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO), which has trained divers. More than 20 divers searched for the boy.
Campugan said they were not able to use their oxygen tanks when they found the boy.
The rescuers from the PDRRMO, in a radio dyAB report, observed that the river’s water was clear and its current was not strong yesterday.
Pananganan said the current was not strong last Saturday either.
A resident of Valencia since 2004, Pananganan said it was the first time that someone died in the falls.
Sosa was brought to Carcar City District Hospital, where the boy was declared dead by a doctor past 3 p.m.