By Calvin Cordova
CEBU CITY — Eight passengers and two crew members were rescued after a motorized banca sank off Olango Island, Lapu-Lapu City early Wednesday morning.
“The boatman defied an order of the Coast Guard disallowing small vessel from sailing since there was a gale warning raised. We will conduct further inquiry regarding this incident and we will issue an inspection apprehension report to the boat owner,” said Lt. Jr. Grade Michael John Encina, information officer of the Philippine Coast Guard-Central Visayas.
The banca left Barangay San Vicente in Olango at past 4 a.m. It was headed to Mactan Island when it encountered big waves around 4:30 a.m.
The banca’s engine conked out before it capsized, said Nagiel Bañacia, head of the city’s Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office.
The passengers were rescued by barangay captain Cyrus Eyas onboard another motorboat.
Seven of the rescued passengers were brought to Hilton Wharf where they were attended to by the Coast Guard’s medical team.
The boatman and his assistant opted to return to Olango onboard another banca.
Bañacia said the passengers hired the boat to transport them to Mactan Island since they have been absent from work for the past several days when small boats were not allowed to travel due to inclement weather.