SEBASTE, Antique - (UPDATED) One man died while several others, including a town mayor and 2 actresses, were rescued after a speedboat capsized while they were on their way to an island in the town of Culasi Thursday morning.
The lone fatality was identified as Bennie Dable, 50, who is the bodyguard and a relative of Pandan town Mayor Jonathan Tan. Dable, who was reportedly driving the speedboat, was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.
Actresses Bianca Manalo and Ehra Madrigal, who were friends with the mayor, were among those who were rescued from the capsized boat, according to Jesus Aguirre Dioso, public relations officer of Pandan.
Dioso said the other survivors included Tan; Majel Tresche, 65; Madrigal's husband Tom Yeung, 47; Torebeo Barrentos, 41; an unidentified female; and 2 minors.
"Yes, Bianca Manalo, and Ehra Madrigal and her husband are friends with the mayor," Dioso, who was supposed to join the group but decided to take a land trip instead to Culasi, said in his native tongue.
"The boat capsized at 10:50 a.m., they arrived in the shoreline at 1:45 p.m. Mayor Tan and Torebeo Barrentos swam for more than 2 hours going to the shoreline. Fishermen saw them and helped them. Mayor Tan went onboard a pumpboat and went back to where the boat capsized and checked on the situation of his friends," he shared.
Dioso said the mayor was supposed to tour his friends in Mararison island, one of the popular island destinations in the Province of Antique.
Sr. Inspector Glen Jaromay, officer in charge of the Sebaste police, said the speedboat, which was on its way to the Island, was hit by strong waves. He said the incident was reported to the police past 1 p.m. and they immediately launched a rescue operation.
"The waves were quite big and the wind was gusty. The speedboat was hit by waves and it capsized," he said in Bisaya.
Tan’s group went back to Pandan, said Dioso, but they were all in grief because of the fatality.