Island hopping in El Nido almost ended in tragedy

Published April 9, 2018, 6:55 PM

by Roel Tibay

By Aaron Recuenco

An island-hopping in El Nido, Palawan almost ended in tragedy when a motorized banca with 10 foreign tourists on board submerged this morning.

Fortunately, a Philippine Coast Guard rescue boat immediately responded that averted the possible drowning of both the crew and passengers of the motorized banca, according to Supt. Imelda Tolentino, spokesperson of the MIMAROPA (Mindoro Occidental and Oriental, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) regional police.

He identified the rescued passengers as Brazilians Vanesa Hoffman Baretti, Gustavo Tibana, Fabiana de Oliveira, Alessandra Jore, and Pedro Luiz Paulo; Australians Sarah Sgroi, Bryce Daniel Mc Carthy, Christian Abhavaratna and Aman Jun; and Portuguese Nathalia Hoffman Ramos.

Quoting a report from the local police, Tolentino said the group went into an island hopping this morning but was met with rough seas while on their way to Hidden Beach Island in El Nido.

“The boat crew dropped their anchor due to a rough sea condition. Few instance later, the anchor line was cut which made the boat drift near the rocky shore and eventually submerged,” said Tolentino.

Tolentino said the boat crew members were able to assist the passengers after the boat submerged.

They were identified as Jessie Ebajon, Jovily Canete, John Cris Xarmaran and Jue Cortez.

Tolentino said the 10 passengers were turned over to the local disaster office in Elk Nido and were later taken to their respective hotels while the crew members were sent back home.