Child missing, 22 rescued after boat capsizes off coast of San Fernando

A FIVE-YEAR-OLD boy went missing after a pumpboat carrying 23 people capsized in the seawaters off San Fernando, Cebu on New Year’s Day, Jan. 1, 2023.

Twenty-two of the people aboard were rescued, but the boy was nowhere to be found, San Fernando MDRRMO chief Romel Penatil told SunStar Cebu.

Penatil said the accident happened around 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, but they received the report about the incident past 8 p.m.

Missing is five-year-old Rens Seguisabal.

The rescued passengers, one of whom was said to be the owner and driver of the boat, were brought by Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) personnel to Barangay Sangat in the same town.

Rescued were Ronnel Seguisabal, 24; Flora Mae Dayondon, 22; Ronnel Seguisabal Jr., one month old; Joseph Solatorio, 31; Rosana Solatorio, 27; Joseph Solatorio Jr., 6; Jhonrey Solatorio, seven months old; Charlie Seguisabal, Charlie Seguisabal Jr., Rosalie Seguisabal, Christian Regasa, 18; Rosan Seguisabal, 17; Roland Seguesabal, 48; Susan Seguisabal, 46; Michael Angelo Sabihon, Ellen Gelig, 24; Mike Jay Sabihon, seven years old; Dina Dayondon, 20; Russel Seguesabal, 15; Christyl Alforque, 15; Aldrin Barcelonia, 28; and Roxan Sabihon, 29.

Initial investigation showed the passengers were bound for Bohol to attend the birthday of a grandparent on Monday, Jan. 2.

The travelers, who are all related to each other, are from Talisay City and the City of Naga in southern Cebu.

The travelers boarded two pumpboats in San Fernando town for the trip.

However, a series of big waves capsized one of the pumpboats.

Pinatil said the passengers of the capsized pumpboat were able to board the other vessel while waiting for rescue.

The PCG is currently conducting a search and rescue operation for the missing boy. (GPL / MVG)