Two fishermen drown off Balite

A tricycle driver and his fisherman brother both drowned in chest-deep waters while catching fish in the coral reef off barangay Balite in Virac last Friday.

According to the report sent to Camp Francisco Camacho by Virac police chief Maj. Robert Kevin Caparroso, tricycle driver Juan Asuncion Alberto, 51, and his brother, Ariel, 49, both residents of the barangay, decided to catch fish using a net in the municipal waters off the village at 5:30 PM of Feb. 25, 2022.

There was rough sea at the time but the duo did not use a fishing boat, the report stated.

At around 7 PM, other fishermen who arrived at the area found the floating, lifeless bodies of the two men.

Medical personnel of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) and the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) Virac rushed to the scene and transported the victims to the Eastern Bicol Medical Center (EBMC) where they were declared dead on arrival at 8:15 PM due to asphyxia secondary to drowning.

In an interview by the Tribune, Balite barangay chairman Ernesto Camacho quoted one of his barangay kagawad, Rodel Vargas, that the latter and three others were also fishing in the area at around 7 PM when Vargas’ flashlight shone on half of a leg sticking out of the sea.

He called one of his companions to check what it was and when they confirmed that it was a dead man, they called the two other fishermen.

Blood was coming out from the victim’s mouth and nose, staining the seawater around it, they said.

They called three other men at the beach, waving their flashlights to catch their attention.

“Pwedeng aduman sinda sa ibabaw ning kagasangan, nahigo sinda paluwas ta pahunas kang time na yun and then ibinaba na sa bato ya makusog talaga su lungso kaito, hababaw siya pero makusog talaga,” Chairman Camacho said.

He added that Ariel frequented the fishing ground but the older brother allegedly did not know how to swim.

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