Passengers of missing boat in S. Leyte found

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine authorities said on Tuesday, December 30, that they have found all 7 passengers of a missing pump boat that sunk off the coast of Southern Leyte on December 29. 

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), which conducted the search and rescue mission, said the passengers were found in Sto Rosario, Maasin City, on Tuesday.

"The pump boat capsized with all the passengers clinging to it until they were drifted to the shoreline," PCG spokesperson Commander Armand Balilo said.

The boat was carrying the police chief of Limasawa, church altar boys, and the boat operator, he said.

The passengers are Senior Inspector Richard Castanares, Lourdes Rogador, Claresa Malunas, Charlote Malunas, Joana Juanico, Edna Mae Cabanero, and boat operator‎ Eusebio Petenio. 

The passengers  are being treated at the Southern Leyte Provincial Hospital, the  PSG spokesperson said.

Strong winds and big waves due to Tropical Storm Seniang caused the pumpboat to sink, and could not be found since it left at 2 pm on December 29 for Limasawa Island from Barangay San Roque in Macrohon. –