Seven found dead in boat off Tawi-Tawi: Coast Guard
Seven passengers were found dead while eight were missing after a motorized boat sunk off the waters of southern Philippines on July 30, the Philippine Coast Guard reported on Wednesday.
Captain Armando Balilo, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) spokesman, said based on the account of the lone survivor identified as Ibrahim Hassan Mandul, the boat was carrying a total of 16 passengers when it sank in the waters of Siamil, Sabah near Philippine-Malaysia border.
He said other passengers of the motorized boat were identified as Muin Tahil (boat operator), Hassan Mandul, Adzral Hussin, Fairul Faizal, Aljanib Tahil, Adzfar Tahil, Aldison Tahil, Rasiya Ami, Jenny Ibrahim, Liya Hussin, Amira Faizal, Nurhuda Albain,Manhuda Albain, Matida Darmasiyun, and Ru-Indah Darmasiyun.
“ PCG has directed the Bongao station commander to submit Maritime Casualty Investigation Report in order to prevent recurrence of similar incident. It was learned that motorized boat is unregistered and it is being used to cross the border without authority,” Balilo added
According to Lt. Commander Noriel Ramos, Coast Guard Zamboanga Station chief, Mandul was earlier rescued by patrolling coast guard personnel off the seas of Tawi-Tawi.
“Lieutenant Commander Ramos said that amidst their rescue efforts, recently seven lifeless bodies which are already in a state of decomposition were recovered at the vicinity of Sitangkai Reefs (in Tawi-tawi),” said Balilo.
He said the recovered bodies were immediately buried in Sitangkai, Tawi-Tawi as part of Moslem tradition.
Balilo said despite the recovery of seven cadavers, the Philippine Coast Guard is now intensifying its efforts to search the remaining eight missing passengers.
“Ramos said that Coast Guard Central Tawi-tawi has made the necessary coordination with Malaysian authorities for search and retrieval of the eight more missing passengers,” he said.
“PCG District South Western Mindanao Commander Captain Joseph Coyme immediately directed the dispatched MRRV 4408 to augment the ongoing search and retrieval efforts of various law enforcement units in the area,” he added.
Balilo said “Coyme also coordinated with Bakamla Malaysian counterpart of PCG. Also PCG will form a Maritime Casualty investigation team to determine cause of incident.”. Robina Asido/DMS