Surigaonons mourn over motorboat tragedy
by Fryan E. Abkilan
SURIGAO CITY (November 28) -- A mood of gloom and shock has reportedly engulfed Surigaonons over the sea disaster of the motorboat Leonida 2 where 14 people died.
The 150-seat motorboat sank near Hinatuan Island on Saturday, November 25 with more than 100 people on board. Gov. Robert Lyndon Barbers, Provincial Disaster and Coordinating Council (PDCC) Chairman said that only 14 bodies had been recovered and latest reports said that about 66 people have been rescued so far and at least 15 people, including Del Carmen Mayor Arlencita Navarro, remained missing,.
The boat left Surigao City bound for Del Carmen town when it sank about an hour after leaving the port of Surigao City. City Mayor Alfonso Casurra said in an interview the boat encountered unusual rough waves. All available vessels sailed to the disaster scene in an effort to rescue survivors. Reports said the ferry boat can carry 100 to 150 passengers. PDCC reports also said the ill-fated motorboat was fully loaded with 300 bags cement and some travellers had expressed concern of its condition.
Identified fatalities are Percy Jornales, Evangeline Sumando, Enrika Nier, Rogelia Pacqueo, Karen Salucop, Karen Jornales, Kenny Ken Madrio, SB member Juanita Comon, Estelito Comboy, Arlene Sulima, Lina Jornales, Froilan Dulpina, Karen Claire Rondes and Roslyn Golo.
The Board of Marine Inquiry is set to convene to look into the circumstances of the disaster. Rumors said that the boat was overloaded with cargoes. But Philippine Coast Guard chief here denied that overloading was the cause of the accident because the ship was carrying only a tenth of the cargo capacity.
Local officials here are still hopeful for more survivors as the rescue operations were continuing. (PIA Surigao del Norte) [top]