Joey Gabieta
Inquirer Visayas 6:21 PM


MANILA, Philippines – A yacht caught fire off the water of Culaba in Biliran on Wednesday afternoon with eight crewmen sustaining various injuries, a police report said.

The yacht wasn’t owned by Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez as earlier reported. Sources told the Inquirer it was owned by a private citizen.

The cause of the fire at the M/Y Lubencio has not been determined as of this posting.

The fire, said to have occurred at 12:45 p.m., caused injuries to its eight crew members. The eight were identified as the yacht captain, Roan Salmoren, 43; Chief Engr. Neil Abatayo, 43; electrician Eugene Gorge, 34; Joel Sotomayor, 33; Melody de San Jose, 34; James Sotomayor, 23; and John Adrian, 23.

All were brought to the rural health unit of Culaba by the local police, said PO1 Archebald Padar, of the Philippine National Police based in Naval, Biliran.

Padar said that two jetskis and two speedboats of the yacht were also burned.

The yacht was said to be traveling from Tacloban to Manila.

The yacht was about 8 to 10 nautical miles from the shoreline of Culaba when it caught fire.

Padar said that the fire was said to have originated from the yacht’s sun deck area.

A maritime police team from Tacloban was said to be on its way to Culaba to help put out the fire.

(Originally posted 4:28 p.m.)


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