Beach Boracay

MANILA, Oct 3, 2012 (AFP) – Three Taiwanese and two Filipinos drowned in separate accidents at the Philippines’ popular island resort of Boracay on Wednesday, a local official said.

The two Filipinos perished at the beach while the three Taiwanese died in a boat mishap, said town councillor Jonathan Cabrera.

The foreign fatalities, including a two-year-old girl and a woman in her 70s, were part of a tour group of 30 Taiwanese riding a motorboat with three Filipino crew when the vessel capsized, he said.

“A rescue team was able to save 30 of them but sadly three of the Taiwanese died,” he told AFP.

Just hours earlier, a Filipino college student was swept away by strong waves, prompting passers-by to try to help. However one of the rescuers, a man on his honeymoon, ended up drowning as well, the councillor said.

Cabrera, who is a member of the island’s safety and tourism committees, said this was the first time he could recall so many fatalities in Boracay, one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions.

The island in the central Philippines is famed for its powder-white sands and crystal-clear waters. But Cabrera said that during the monsoon season, there can be sudden winds and waves that take people by surprise.