BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Four of the nine fishermen who were missing after their fishing boat sank off the coast of Iloilo on September 24, were found dead, according to a report of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).
Two of the four fatalities were identified by PCG as Rommel Engle, of Cadiz City, Negros Occidental, and Norberto Parlotzo, of Bantayan Island Cebu.
The cadavers of Engle and Parlotzo were recovered at the sunken fishing vessel by a team of divers from Bantayan Island, hired by a family of one of the missing fishermen, on September 25.
The identities of two other cadavers recovered yesterday have yet to be identified by the Coast Guard.
There are still five missing fishermen who were unaccounted for.
Coast Guard Capt. Ludovico Librilla, PCG- Negros Occidental chief, yesterday said that a team of PCG’s Special Operations Unit divers led by Coast Guard Commander Jansen Benjamen are now conducting a search of the wreck, which at a depth of 44 meters.
The remains of Engle arrived at the Cadiz City Port almost midnight of September 25.
Of the 31 crew members of F/V St. Peter the Fisherman II, the Coast Guard said that 22 of them survived after being rescued by other fishing vessels in the area.
PCG investigations showed that the fishing vessel was battered by strong winds and big waves which reportedly triggered by a squall, between the territorial waters of Gigantes Island in Carles, Iloilo and Tanguingui Island, Cebu, on September 24.
The fishing vessel later listed to port (left side), and ultimately capsized.
The 22 surviving crew members were brought back to Cadiz City.
Librilla said they immediately deployed the Coast Guard ship BRP Nueva Vizcaya to the area to conduct search and rescue operations.
The PCG national headquarters already sent a probe team to conduct an investigation of the incident.*