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  1. Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Last Sept., my family and I were supposed to go to a beach resort with a couple of offshore islands as it was my birthday. Unfortunately, both my wife and my sister got sick and another sister was flying overseas so the trip got postponed 2 weeks rather than one. If you'll remember, mid september had balmy weather and since we had recently been to a cold weather place, the beach it had to be. The trip got off to a good start, great even as both the place and the food were great. A recent storm, however, made the stay quite rainy so we only enjoyed the pool most of the time. Sunday morning promised to be a much better day -- the sun peaked a couple of times and the waves werren't as bad as the day before. So we sent my sister's driver off to reconnoiter if it would be safe to go to one of the offshore islands which we knew had a much better beach.

    The driver reported back and said that while boats weren't leaving from the resorts, they were leaving from a small dock at the end of the resort row and that in fact, four boats had already left previously. As a result, our group of 6 adults and 2 kids took off in 3 smallish outriggers with assurances that since we were only 2 to a boat, it would be quite safe.
    On the way to the island, the trip was only slightly rough and since we had been through worse, we felt it was OK to land. 2 boats landed on the shore but mine didn't as the boatman felt it might get swamped so my wife and I swam for it. The island was very nice but what was suspicious was that it was deserted save for a couple of fishermen. After a few minutes, it started to rain -- hard, with gusts of wind carrying specks of sand that hurt the skin as it hit. So we took shelter. At the time, we had doubts as to wether it would be safe to depart anyway.

    Good thing the rain stopped after a few minutes. Still, the waves had grown to the point that we could hardly enjoy the water. So we enjoyed the sand instead. After a few minutes of this, the boatmen said it was time to go as it was nearly noon. This time though, 2 of the boats didn't want to go ashore. I suggested they carry the kids and the things to the boats and the adults could just swim. Instead they just sent the bigger of the 3 boats onto the shore and said that we would transfer to the other 2 from there.

    I had never before attempted such a procedure but I figured they should know better than I, shouldn't they? So off we all go. It was taking a while for the boats to get aligned properly but finally, they were, and the first adult started getting ready to transfer. At this point, an unusually large wave hit the group of boats tied together. I didn't think anything of it at the time, but those in the back were shouting and I felt the boat starting to list. Good thing I insisted everyone wear life vests, I thought.

    But then the listing got worse, and it occurred too me that the boat was turning over! It wasn't some sort of quick flip but a slow-mo sort of ramble to the side at first. One by one, people got out and into the water, as the boat turned ever so slowly. As it was my turn to go, I noticed my niece was still in her place and that we were about the last people there! By now, people were shouting her name. She was UNDER the overturned boat! I either don't know or don't remember the details but I dove under the still-moving boat and looked up. She was there under the boat in what I presume to be an air pocket but I couldn't be sure! I gave her a tug but her life vest was keeping her afloat. I couldn't be sure how long the air pocket would last or if there was enough air for me also, so I gave a mighty heave and pulled us both under with life vests and all. As soon as I cleared the boat, I pushed her butt up with all my might. There, I heard her crying. I realized that was a good thing, but now I had a new problem. I was trying to get clear of the boat, but it seemed to be following me! I seemed to have already swallowed a little water and started to think "well, at least I saved her." Then I thought it was such stupid thinking as I was only a few feet under water (The water in the place seemed to be about 8 feet deep only). So I felt with my foot and kicked myself off a submerged portion of the boat and up and out.

    To me, the incident seemed to have lasted ages but since I couldn't hold my breath that long anymore (smoker kasi me at medyo may edad na. hehe), I figured 30 seconds tops. I later asked my other sisters and they said it was more like 20 -- and that the kid didn't even swallow water except when she was bobbing on the surface.

    As I floated on the surface, I noticed that the 2 fishermen's boats had come closer. Hay salamat sabi ko. Then I called a roll, the missus first, in case anyone drifted away, and everyone shouted back. One by one we somehow managed to go on the boats. Strangely enough, there were still people in the water (me! I was the last on board!) when the fishermen's boats just up and left! I saw a boatman lift my wife out of the water like a baby then all 3 of them flipped the boat right side up again. I was still in the water but finally got in to one of the boats. As I got in, I noticed that our boat was pretty low in the water -- lower than the boat my wife was in -- so as we started to leave I concentrated on praying as we traversed a much scarier trip back this time. And I was STILL with my kid nephew and niece plus their yaya and 1 sister. Darn those fishermen who'd just up and left us!

    When we finally got to shore, I looked back and was surprised that the other boat was nowhere around. Our boat man said it was staying with the other boat and that it would leave when he got back to the upturned boat. I sent the others to the car since they were shivering while I waited and prayed for my wife and my sisters. After several minutes I saw our boat that was going back to the stranded boat make a u-turn in mid course. My wife and 2 other sisters had arrived -- towing the stranded boat. I don't remember having thanked the lord so much, so hard, and for so long. After a near disaster, we ended up having lost only a couple of cell phones, a used book, and a water cooler. At the time, I thought my sister (the one with the 2 kids) was sure cool about the incident. As they got to shore though, she ran to me crying, embraced me, and thanked me for saving her baby. Sabi ko, I would've done the same for any of you -- maybe more. (well, I'm not really sure about yaya or the boatmen. haha.)

    I'm a war history buff. And they say that in war, you can never say who a hero will be or who will be scared frozen. I don't know if I was heroic (a role I had fantasized about and prepared for in my younger days), but at least I now know I can be and that I'm definitely not the latter.

    Back in the car the hawks had begun to circle for their 'fees.' Now I understood why they were willing to take the risk -- and taking the risk was what it was. I also understood that having a near-miss was almost a normal occurrence to them. I was still pissed that they let my wife's boat tow the stranded one through the rough seas but we paid them what we felt was due them. I only hope people will remember the lessons we've learned without the same near-miss.

    1. Thank God more for whatever thing you may have and enjoy.
    2. Ride in small boats ONLY in the calmest of weather since seas may change.
    3. When it comes to safety, boat men DON"T always know more than you. Or if they do, they don't necessarily follow it out of need.
    *4. I should get more exercise and cut down smoking.

    What do you think?
    Last edited by pup2; October 8th, 2007 at 07:32 PM. Reason: Wrong formatting 2 times!

  2. Join Date
    Sep 2005
    suggestion.. next time break mo naman in paragraphs.. para hindi mahirap basahin..

  3. Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Sorry. Inayos ko na. Ayaw ma-format ng maayos ng nasa high ang security eh. Mods, any way around that? Alam niyo naman praning ako sa security eh.

  4. Join Date
    Oct 2002
    sorry pup2, pero hinde ko ho naintindihan kwento niyo....

  5. Join Date
    Aug 2003
    had a similar experience when i was in palawan in the early 90's. slow motion din yung pag-capsize ng boat namin. there were 3 guys diving below sa corals and 2 kami naiwan on board. the other guy and me were leaning on one side getting the harpooned fishes from the divers, when the boat started to capsize because of the unbalanced weight.

    we immediately went to the middle of the boat to stop it from turning any further. we did, but not before a lot of our stuff got dumped overboard.

    yun, more diving tuloy sa mga kasama namin.

  6. Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Question ko naman, saan ito?

  7. Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by Mguy View Post
    Question ko naman, saan ito?
    Agree with Mguy. Saan ba nangyari ito for every Tsikoteer who reads this to take the necessary precautions aspecially the adventure-lovers.

  8. Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Wow! Thank God you're all alright!

  9. Join Date
    Aug 2004
    If we ever see each other, remind me to buy you a beer. Good job saving that girl

    Isn't this one of those fishing boats with outriggers? or single-rigger lang? I always get nervous unless they have them...

    Ang pagbalik ng comeback...

  10. Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by Hayward View Post
    Agree with Mguy. Saan ba nangyari ito for every Tsikoteer who reads this to take the necessary precautions aspecially the adventure-lovers.
    I don't think it's relevant where it is. I figure poor boat men with not much to lose will always take bigger risks and value their boats a bit more than their passengers where ever they are.

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