Two kids aged 6 and 8 died in El Nido due to drowning on the first day of the year, a report from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said.
Coast Guard Station (CGS) El Nido commander LTJG April Bernal said the incident happened on Wednesday at a beach in Barangay Bucana.
The 8-years-old was declared dead on arrival in a medical facility in the town, while the 6-years-old went missing in the waters before her body was recovered Thursday morning.
Bernal said that based on accounts, five children went swimming around 10:30 a.m. on January 1 using a styrofoam box as a floater. However, they panicked when they noticed that they were already far from the shore.
“Lima sila lahat at tatlo ang nakaligtas, dalawa ang namatay — isa ang dead on arrival then last itong nakita kanina ‘yong six-years-old. Sa kuwento ng nanay, sumakay sila sa malaking takip ng ice box pagkatapos ay nag-panic siguro sila noong nakita nila na malayo na sila sa shoreline kaya tumalon sila. ‘Yong isa nakabalik agad sa shore, ‘yong apat ang nalunod pero agad na na-rescue ‘yong tatlo, [‘yong isa DOA] then ‘yong isa nakita ngayon,” Bernal said.
Those who survived the drowning incident were between the ages of 7 and 13.
The body of the 6-year-old victim was recovered around 8 a.m. on January 2, she said.
“’Yong batang nawawala ay nakita na, wala ng buhay. Kinukuha pa natin ang ibang details pero based sa report na nakuha natin ay naglalaro lang sa shore itong mga bata, hanggang siguro nagkayayaan na sumakay ng styro. May magkapatid po dito at ‘yong iba magpipinsan,” she added.