3 Negrenses drown

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A resident of Barangay San Jose, Sipalay City in Negros Occidental drowned while fishing on Holy Thursday, April 2. 

The fatality was identified as Federico Ayencia, 36, who went fishing near a mangrove area at least 100 meters away from the coastline of Sitio Langala in Barangay Canturay.

Sipalay City rescuers retrieve the body of Federico Ayencia, 36, who drowned in a mangrove area on April 2. | Sipalay CDRRMO Photo

Executive Assistant Dionilo Bogtae, head City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, said the high tide apparently caught the victim off-guard. 

Ayencia was last seen standing on a stone and possibly did not notice the increasing water level.

He could have found it difficult to swim towards the shoreline since the waters were already deep, he added.

The victim was seen struggling and trying to surface, but was eventually submerged, prompting the residents to call for rescue. 

Bogtae said it took almost an hour for rescuers to reach area where the victim was last seen.  Minutes later, divers found his body almost 12 feet under water.

Ayencia was rushed to the city infirmary, where he was declared dead on arrival by the attending physician.

In Murcia town, two young people drowned while swimming in a river at Purok Tan-ag, Barangay Dumpsite.

The victims were identified as Jomae Hernaez, 14, of Purok Tumpok, Barangay Blumentritt; and Jose Jerry Pamaloan, 22, of Purok BM, Barangay Taculing, Bacolod City.

Maj. Gerald Muya, town police chief, said Hernaez fell into the water and Pamaloan tried to save her, but the strong current also dragged him down.

The victims were swept towards the tunnel of an irrigation canal, where they were found by rescuers and brought to the Rural Health Clinic, but were declared dead on arrival.

Muya said that after the incident, they advised the barangay officials and the residents to avoid the area, which is frequented by families having picnics. – MML