Ten people, mostly school teachers, were rescued Friday night after large waves brought by tropical storm “Butchoy” (international name: Guchol) caused their boat to capsize in waters near Catbalogan City, Samar, police said.

Superintendent Avelino Doncillo, Catbalogan City Police chief, said all eight teachers and two crewmen onboard the pump boat were rescued by Coast Guard personnel and brought back to land around 10 p.m.

The pump boat left Brgy. Birawan, Daram, around 5 p.m. and capsized while en route to Catbalogan City, according to an earlier report reaching the National Police headquarters in Manila.

Around the same time, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration placed adjacent Eastern Samar under storm warning Signal No. 1 and reiterated a call for small seacraft not to venture out into the seaboards of Luzon, Visayas, and Eastern Mindanao due to big waves.

The police report said three passengers, identified as elementary school teachers Irene Luceriano, Grace Penida, and Maria Luz Teves, went missing when the boat capsized.

Reached by phone for confirmation, Doncillo said the boat’s passengers have all been “all accounted for” later in the evening and were taken by police to the Samar Provincial Hospital for medical checks.

“Ang sabi nung isang teacher, nung umalis sila hindi pa masyado maalon, parang inabutan sila ng malalaking alon diyan sa gitna ng laot dahil na rin dito sa bagyo,” he said.

The teachers, all residents of Catbalogan City, usually rent the boat as a group to go home after their classes in Daram every Friday afternoon, Doncillo said. (John Roson)

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