By Jennifer P. Rendon
At least six persons have died during the celebration of the feast of St. John the Baptist all over Western Visayas.
The first recorded incident happened at 7:10 a.m. in New Washington, Aklan while the last drowning case was in Tigbauan, Iloilo at 6 p.m. on June 24.
Records from the Police Regional Office (PRO)-6 identified the victims as Matilde Delfin, 59, of Sitio Dueonan, Barangay Ochando, New Washington, Aklan; Jomar Soriano, 40, of Barangay Tacay, Buenavista, Guimaras; Freddie Divingracia, 30, of Barangay Pantalan, Anilao, Iloilo; Joseph Ragasa, 28, of Hacienda Teresa, Barangay Alicante, EB Magalona, Negros Occidental; Jomar Ocayo, 37, of Barangay San Blas, Pilar, Capiz; and Rolando Tañada, 65, of Barangay Namocon, Tigbauan, Iloilo.
Delfin was seen floating on the seawaters of Ochando, New Washington Saturday morning.
Members of the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) took her to Dr. Rafael S. Tumbukon Memorial Hospital (DRSTMH) but she was declared dead on arrival.
At 1:30 p.m., members of Nueva Valencia Municipal Police Station received a report that a man got drowned while swimming at the Samara Floating Cottage.
Soriano’s mother noticed that her son was nowhere in sight after dipping on the beach.
Family members later retrieved him but he was already unconscious.
He was brought to Dr. Catalino G. Nava Provincial Hospital in Jordan town, but he also did not make it.
The Anilao Municipal Police Station recorded its drowning incident at 2:45 p.m. at Barangay Pantalan.
Divinagracia celebrated the San Juan feast with his relatives when the incident happened.
He was already unconscious when he was found floating.
The victim was believed to be under the influence of liquor when the incident happened.
Divingracia was given first aid before he was taken to Don Jose Sustiguer Memorial Medical Center in Barotac Nuevo but was declared dead on arrival.
Negros Occidental recorded its lone drowning incident at 3 p.m.
Ragasa drowned while swimming in the Malogo River in Hacienda Teresa, Barangay Alicante, EB Magalona.
The victim was last seen at around 1 p.m. by his colleagues before he was found around 20 meters away from where he was last seen swimming.
Capiz had its drowning incident at 4 p.m. at Barangay Binaobawan, Pilar town.
Ocayo was with his family and friends on a bamboo raft when he jumped off.
He failed to surface.
Members of Pilar MPS, MDRRMO, Philippine Coast Guard, Municipal Bantay Dagat and Provincial Bantay Dagat conducted the search and rescue operation.
He was later retrieved but did not pull through.
The other drowning incident in Iloilo province happened at around 6 p.m. at Barangay Namocon, Tigbauan.
Tañada was allegedly under the influence of liquor when he went swimming at the beach.
His friend later found him floating face down.
The victim was rushed to Rep. Pedro Trono Memorial District Hospital in Guimbal town but he also did not push through.