Coast guard rescues 15 health workers in Albay

By Rhaydz B. Barcia


A motorized boat loaded with 15 government health workers from Rapu-Rapu Island heading to Legazpi City capsized on Saturday, Dec. 19, after big waves pummeled it brought by “amihan” or northeast monsoon.


Major Dexter Panganiban, Albay police provincial spokesman, said the motorized boat “MV APRMS” sank at 9:12 AM while heading towards Barangay Buhatan in Sto. Domingo town on Saturday.


Initial report said that at about 6:30 AM, the boat left Poblacion, Rapu-Rapu town with 15 passengers, 13 of whom are nurses and 2 midwives, all government workers, along with the boatman and his aide.


He said that when the boat reached the vicinity of the shoreline in Barangay Mataas, Cagraray Island at about 8:30 AM, it was hit by big waves.


As the big waves pummeled the boat, it struck on rocks crushing the vessel completely and threw off the passengers on the water. Luckily the incident took place near the shore and the passengers were able to swim and reach the shoreline.


“The boat was hit by big waves and eventually sank. The passengers all wearing life vest were able to survive and reach the seashore with the help of the operator of the boat and later rescued by the residents of Sitio Bahi, Barangay Misibis, in Cagraray Island in Bacacay town.


Police and coast guard personnel assigned at the Misibis Tourist Assistance Center led by Master Sergent Jeffry R. Bas assisted the boat passengers” Panganiban said.


Rescued were: Grochelle Perucho; Ivan Blair Loveres; Rogine John Bonina; Luwil Angelo Cargullo; Mirfe Claire Bordeos; Jenny Sumania; Rosario Gianan; Sarah Jane Primavera; Janet Dy; Jeramie Bermas; Angelou Aguilar; Sergio Balidoy; Mark Christian Realubit; Christian Joseph Ibarreta; and Princess Monaffer Abion.


The boatman, Joey B. Rodriguez, 40 years old, and Roberto Villalba, a crew member, both residents of Barangay Maninila, Rapu-Rapu, Albay, also helped in the rescue of the passengers.


All passengers and crew were safe and treated at the hospital for minor injuries.


Mark Christian Realubit, one of the passengers, in an interview, said that they rented the boat, which they’re regularly ride in going back to Legazpi City, but along the way a “subasco” took place.


“Subasco” or squall is a weather phenomenon that causes a sudden violent wind associated with heavy rains or thunderstorms.


“The sudden “subasco” created big waves and struck the boat we are riding until it collided with big rocks, which completely destroyed the boat,” Realubit said.