9 passengers, crew rescued from burning boat off Surigao del Norte

Published December 21, 2020, 6:50 PM

by Betheena Unite

Nine individuals, including a one-year-old child, were rescued from a passenger boat that caught fire in the waters off Surigao del Norte, the Philippine Coast Guard said Monday.

The passenger motorboat, which was carrying seven passengers and two crewmen, sank after it was razed by fire around 10:45 a.m. on December 19.

According to the Coast Guard, the distressed motorbanca came from Barangay Magsaysay, Sta. Monica enroute to Barangay Pagsabayan, San Benito.

While transiting the waters off Surigao del Norte, the fuel container of the motorbanca accidentally dropped, causing its contents to flow towards the engine that later caused the fire.

All passengers and crew members were forced to abandon the vessel which was already sinking after the fire broke out.

Local fishermen onboard three motorbancas and were near the site of the incident sent help and “rescued the two crew members and seven passengers, including a one-year-old child, who were found floating in the water,” the Coast Guard said.

At around 12:30 p.m., all rescued individuals were safely brought to the nearest shoreline where they were turned over to Sta. Monica municipal medical officers. They were then ferried to Siargao District Hospital for further medical assistance.