A Navy patrol gunboat rescued 123 people, mostly students, after the passenger boat they were riding experienced engine trouble off Burias Island, Masbate, early Saturday.

Ensign Chibar Bullos, Naval Forces Southern Luzon information officer, said the M/B Brian was carrying five crew members, 18 teachers, and 100 students from Claveria town.

The passenger boat was bringing the students and teachers to San Pascual for a Department of Education “district meet,” Bullos said.

The boat experienced engine trouble and was floating near Cueva Point around 2:30 a.m. when it was found by the Navy patrol gunboat BRP Simeon Castro (PG-374), he said.

“Wala nang bagyo pero maalon pa rin ‘yung dagat noon,” Bullos said in a phone interview. (John Roson)

– end –