Calm waters now at the site where the two drowned. Photo by Ernie Esconde
MORONG, Bataan — Two male visitors in one of the beach resorts here drowned after being swept by big waves and sucked by strong undercurrent Tuesday late afternoon.
Corporal Jomar Allavado, Morong police investigator, on Wednesday identified the fatalities as businessman Jorge Pangilinan, 59, and driver Ricky Geronimo, 49, both of Marilao, Bulacan.
The investigator said the two were with other companions from Bulacan bathing in the seawater when suddenly swept by strong waves some 30 meters away from the shoreline.
“Sinubukan silang sagipin pero sa lakas ng alon at water current ay hindi na sila nasagip. Kapag malakas ang alon, mag-ingat sa paliligo dahil malakas ang water current,” Allavado said.
Captain Michelle Agnetha Gaviola, Morong police chief, said the victims were rushed to the Morong Rural Health Unit but were declared dead on arrival. She advised visitors and even local residents to be extra careful when going to the beaches.
Morong and neighboring Bagac town are known for their sandy beaches which are adjacent to the West Philippines Sea. Beaches as well as inland resorts were closed for two years due to the pandemic and were allowed to reopen after Bataan was placed under Alert level 1.
Fisherman Fedelito Ibabao who resides near the beach resort witnessed the drowning that took place at past 4 in the afternoon.
“Nakita ko ang isa na kakaway-kaway ngunit kapag lumakas ang alon ay lumulubog ito at pagkatapos lilitaw na naman. Ilang segundo na ganoon ang nangyayari at tuluyan na itong lumubog,” the old man said.
Ibabao said that based on account of rescuers, the second victim was retrieved rolling on the sea floor and was already dead when taken out of the water.
“Hindi gaano kalaki ang mga alon kahapon pero malakas ang agos. Kasabihan ng mga matatanda na kapag may buhay nang nakuha ang dagat, biglang lumiliit na ang mga alon,” Ibabao said.