Passenger boat catches fire, sinks in Bohol; 163 individuals saved, 1 dead, 1 missing

Published June 26, 2022, 5:00 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

A passenger boat carrying 165 passengers and crew members was razed by fire before it sank in Pres. Carlos P. Garcia, Bohol on Sunday afternoon, June 26.

Distraught passengers of passenger boat Mama Mary Chloe gather at Port of Hilongos in Leyte after the vessel caught fire and sank in Pres. Carlos P. Garcia, Bohol on June 26, 2022. (Photo courtesy of PCG)

Passenger boat Mama Mary – Chloe was sailing in the vicinity waters off Tugas Island and Tilmobo Island when it suddenly caught fire around 1 p.m., the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said.

A report reaching the PCG headquarters said the vessel was loaded with eight crew members and 157 passengers — of which, 142 are adults and 15 are children.

According to PCG Station Eastern Bohol, the boat has a maximum capacity of 236 passengers.

The PCG said 163 passengers and crew members were rescued, one individual died, and another one remained missing as of 5:30 p.m.

The rescued individuals were brought to Port of Hilongos in Leyte, municipality of Pitogo in Quezon, and in Gaus Island and Pres. Carlos P. Garcia town in Bohol for immediate medical attention.

Meanwhile, the fatality was identified as Adolfo Rañola, 53, of Brgy. Poblacion, Trinidad, Bohol. He was a passenger of the boat and his body was retrieved by the authorities.

The PCG said that the vessel came from Ubay, Bohol and was on its way to Bato, Leyte when the incident occured.

“The PCG immediately alerted all vessels in the area after we received the report,” the PCG said.

The cause of fire has yet to be determined as the PCG deployed search and rescue teams to find the remaining unaccounted individuals.

BRP Cabra (MRRV-4409) was sent to the area of incident to help in the search and rescue operation.