RESCUED. Passengers of a motor banca that sank near the port of Calbayog City in Samar wait for rescuers on Monday (August 12, 2019). The 49 passengers and seven crew members were safely rescued by the Philippine Coast Guard. (Photo courtesy of Philippine Coast Guard)

TACLOBAN CITY — All 49 passengers and seven crew members of a motorized banca were safely rescued after it capsized near the port of Calbayog City in Samar on Monday.

Lt. Junior Grade Wilky Homer Saga, commander of the Philippine Coast Guard in Samar said the boat left the port past 11 a.m. when strong winds battered the vessel bound for Tagapul-an town.

“The banca was just 100 meters away from the seaport when strong winds and big waves struck the boat, submerging half of it,” Saga said in a phone interview.

There was no forecast of weather disturbance in Samar when the incident took place.

The rescue team was composed of personnel from the Coast Guard Station Samar Quick Response Team, City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council, Philippine National Police Maritime Group, and Lite Ferries.

“The team successfully rescued all passengers including the crew members and ferried them to Calbayog City,” Saga added.

Those rescued were turned over to PNP Maritime Group Calbayog, City and Coast Guard for medical assistance. No one was seriously hurt after the sea mishap.

The island town of Tagapul-an can be reached through a three-hour trip by a motor banca from Calbayog City. The distance between Tagapul-an from Samar’s mainland is 44 kilometers. (PNA)