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7 dead, 8 missing as big waves batter boat

Seven passengers of an ill-fated motorized temper boat were found dead while eight more persons remain missing from the sunken vessel near the Malaysian border, the Philippine Coast Guard said Wednesday.

Coast Guard rescue team, as of yesterday, is continuously scouring the waters off Siamil near Malaysian border after they confirmed that a motorized temper type boat carrying 16 passengers sank last July 30.

Only one passenger was able to survive the incident, Captain Armand Balilo, PCG spokesman said.

The lone survivor identified as Ibrahin Hassan Mandul told the authorities that the boat was on its way to Sempornah, Sabah, Malaysia from Sitangkai Tawi-tawi when it was battered by big waves causing it to sink.

It was disclosed that the seven bodies, which according to reports “were already in a state ofdecomposition” were found by local fishermen at Sitangkai Reefs. The bodies were immediately buried in Sitangkai, as part of Muslim tradition, Balilo said.

Most of the passengers were children, aged 7 to 17 years old while five, including the boat operator, are adults.

The authorities identified them as Marida Darmasiyun, 70, female; Muin Tahil, boat operator, 53, male;Nurhuda Albain, 53, female; Hassan Hussin, 53, male; Rasia Ami, 48, female; Alnajib Tahil, 17, male; Aldison Tahil, 16, male; Adzfar Tahil, 15, male; Jenny Iborahim, 13, female; Mahnuda Albain, 10, female; Ru-Inda Darmasiyun, 9, female; Amira Faizal, 8, female; Adzral Hussin, 8, male; Fairul Faizal, 7, male; and Liya Husin, 7, female. They are all residents of Tawi-Tawi. (Betheena Kae Unite)