• Melo Acuna

Tragedy hits fishing boat in Zamboanga

Four seafarers die of suffocation


MANILA – At least four crew members of a fishing vessel, FV Julius 558 died because of suffocation off the coasts of Talisayan, Zamboanga City last Thursday, August 5.2021.


In a belated report, Chief Engineer Sonny Morales said at about 6:00 A.M. Thursday, Boat Captain Joseph Oro instructed two crew members identified as Marjon Oro and Billy Lamag to clean the fish storage compartment using the submersible pump. They were instructed to rid the storage of accumulated water due to melted ice with decomposing fish.


Oro and Lamag shouted for help after experiencing shortness of breath and dizziness, Boat Captain Oro and another crew member identified as Charlie Caspe proceeded to the fish storage compartment to assist the two. However, they also experienced shortness of breath and dizziness.


Morales said he went to the upper deck and found the four unconscious at the fish storage compartment. He reported the incident to the management and called on other mariners to rescue the four crew members.


Chief Mate Juanito Ibañes, Jr. manuevered the vessel ang brought the same to YL Wharf in Talisayan and arrived at the port at 7:00 A.M.


The victims were evacuated to Zamboanga Doctors Hospital/Brent Hospital where there were declared dead on arrival.


The fatalities were identified as Joseph Oro, 45 years old, boat captain of Zamboanga City, Marjon Oro, 37 years old, of Sangali, Zamboanga City. Their cause of death was suffocation secondary to drowning.


Third fatality was identified as 29-year-old Charlie Caspe of Negros Occidental. His cause of death was acute respiratory distress syndrome secondary to toxic inhalation of unknown gas. The fourth fatality, Billy Lamag, 27 years old of Negros Occidental who also died of acute respiratory distress syndrome secondary to toxic inhalation of unknown gas.


The company which was not identified in the report has coordinated with the victims’ next of kin and assured them of the necessary assistance and benefits. (Melo M. Acuña)

FV Julius 558, crew members and PCG personnel inquiring about the fatal incident. (PCG photos)

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