The bodies of four of the nine fishermen, who were lost at sea when their fishing vessel capsized off Tanguigui Island, between northern Cebu and Gigantes Island in Iloilo Friday, were recovered by divers Saturday and Sunday.
Negros Occidental Provincial Board Member Samson Mirhan identified the fatalities as Norberto Parlotzo and Rommel Engle, who were recovered in the waters of Bantayan Island Saturday afternoon.
The two other bodies, found Sunday, have yet to be identified.
Parlotzo, from Bantayan Cebu, was the sonar operator of the fishing boat, FV St. Peter the Fishermen, while Engle from Cadiz City was one of the piscadores.
Mirhan, who is a former vice mayor of Cadiz, said the city government sent divers from the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office to the incident site Sunday morning together with divers from the Philippine Coast Guard, headed by Lt. Commander Jansen Benjamin.
They were to look for the missing fishermen, identified as boat captain Frankie Chavez, steersmen Renante Forsuelo and Victor Calvo, chief engineer Herminio Romano, third engineer Manuel Auditor, piscador Julit Salvo, and cook Julian Dungog.
Mirhan said he believes that the missing fishermen are trapped in the vessel, with the wreckage found 44 meters deep from the water surface.
A sister vessel from Tri Star Fishing Corporation, the FV Old Man and the Sea, rescued the initial 22 of the 31 beleaguered fishermen Friday, and docked at the Cadiz City Commercial Port in Barangay Banguerohan, Cadiz City, past 4 p.m. Sept. 24.
Cadiz City Health Office personnel examined and treated the survivors, before they were transported to their respective homes.
An initial investigation of the PCG showed that, according to a survivor, they were fishing at about 1 a.m. Friday in the waters of northern Cebu when they experienced heavy gusts of wind and large waves, that caused their vessel to list to port (left side) until it sank.
The PCG sent rescue boats to the incident site, conducted aerial survey Saturday, and discovered the fishing net of the vessel.
An investigating team from the PCG central office in Metro Manila is also coming to Negros Occidental to conduct further investigations./MML