Man in Taal boat sinking found dead

By Arnell Ozaeta, ABS-CBN News Southern Tagalog

Posted at Apr 02 2014 04:09 PM | Updated as of Apr 03 2014 12:09 AM

BATANGAS - A man who went missing after his boat sank in Taal Lake last March 29 has been found near the shore of San Nicolas town early Wednesday morning.

San Nicolas police chief Ernesto Chavez said the dead body of Lorenzo de Villar Jr. was found floating 200 meters away from the shoreline of Barangay Pulang Bato, San Nicolas at around 5:30 a.m.

Two other passengers also died when the boat sank. They were Joseph Medina, 2, and Krizza Marie Ramos, 4, both residents of Barangay Alas-As, San Nicolas.

Police said the victims together with 7 other passengers were on their way home after attending a graduation ceremony in Balete town when their boat sank at around 7:40 p.m.

According to the survivors, their vessel tilted when the children tried to reach a balloon floating in the lake.

Chavez said they suspect that the boat was overloaded when the incident occurred.

"Mukhang overloaded ang bangka kasi sa ganoong kaliit na bangka ay 4 hanggang 5 katao lang dapat ang sakay non," he said.

Elements of the San Nicolas police, Municipal Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Council, and Coast Guard immediately conducted search and rescue operations.

Rescue teams rushed the two children to Batangas Provincial Hospital but they were declared dead on arrival at the emergency room.