Woman killed, three survive as boat capsizes in Carles

Emergency responders carry the body of Cecille Fuentes who drowned in Carles, Iloilo Saturday evening. (Photos from Philippine Coast Guard)

By Jennifer P. Rendon

A 35-year-old woman died while her three companions survived after their boat capsized in the waters of Carles, Iloilo evening of July 15, 2023.

The body of Cecille Fuentes, a resident of the coastal village of Tinigban, Carles, was retrieved hours later at the nearby Barangay Buenavista.

Her companions, Demetrio Robles, 52; Janice Baclas, 20, and Janine de los Reyes, 19, all residents of Barangay Tinigban, survived the incident.

According to reports, the three women went to sea to trade food products to a barge that has anchored in the area due to bad weather.

They left at around 9 p.m. on July 14 on board a motor banca skippered by Robles.

As they were sailing back home, the boat capsized due to strong winds and big waves.

Lieutenant Cedrick Cruz, Carles police chief, said that Robles, who also works as a fisherman, swam, and reached the shore of Tinigban, which is under a kilometer away from where the scene of the incident.

He then asked for help from village officials.

An operation was then launched to rescue the three women.

Baclas and delos Reyes were able to hold on to the banca until they were rescued.

However, Fuentes was carried by the waves.

Cruz said the incident was reported to the police authorities at 12 noon of the following day.

Members of the Philippine Coast Guard and Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) led the search, rescue, and retrieval operation.

Fuentes’ body was found 2 p.m. Saturday.