By CHRIS V. PANGANIBAN
SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur — Five persons drowned to death while enjoying a birthday outing at the popular Pugad Beach Resort in Lianga town in Surigao del Sur on Wednesday, a belated police report said.
The victims already grownup farmers from a remote village of Santiago in San Luis town in Agusan del Sur were having fun swimming about 20 meters from the seashore when they drowned , three of them were immediately rescued but expired upon arrival at the local hospital while the two were found washed ashore on the beach early Wednesday dawn.
Police Officer 2 Mark Brian Tindugan, Police Community Relations staff of Lianga Municipal Po9lice Station, said the victims Joseph Cajotol,34; Fernando Besing, 24, Ronaldo Baghucan, 19; Alvin Almosera, 19; and Ronald Lagata.
Almosera and Lagata were among those who were earlier and their dead bodies washed ashore. Their remains were brought yesterday to their village where carpenter neighbors volunteered to make their wooden casket.
The lone survivor Dalman Busano, told reporter Alexis Cabardo of PTV 8 Agusan del Sur that the seawater level suddenly rose while they were swimming that the victims were helpless to swim back to safety since most of them have little skills in swimming the deeper portion of the sea.
Busano admitted the victims were already having alcoholic drinks before they went swimming but insisted they were not yet drunk.
Tindugan said investigations showed the victims went on swimming after having their lunch not realizing that the high tide already started to rise.
Busano said the victims were among those invited to join the birthday celebration of his son.
The incident took a hype in Facebook yesterday when photos and videos were posted by netizens in neighboring towns of Surigao del Sur and Agusan del Sur drawing comments describing the resort as the death beach because of many drowning to deaths in the past years.
Commenters recalled their kin were drowning victims during new year’s day outing last year and during the summer time.
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