Japanese tourist nearly drowns while whale shark watching in Oslob

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram March 25,2019 - 03:40 PM

Tourists swim with  Oslob’s famed whale sharks. / Cebu Daily News file photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Emergency responders rescued a Japanese tourist from drowning while he was swimming with the whale sharks (locally known as butanding) in the waters of Oslob town in southeastern Cebu on Sunday, March 24.

The victim was identified as Ken Ishida, 51.

Ishida was brought to a private hospital in Cebu City where he is now confined.

Reports reaching the Oslob Police Station said that an unconscious Ishida was found floating on the waters of Barangay Tan-awan by his wife while they were whale shark watching at around around 8:30 a.m. on Sunday.

Police Officer 1 Rolando Baquiran of the Oslob Police Station said that Ishida’s wife, whom police failed to identify, immediately called for help.

Rescuers fished Ishida’s body from the waters of Barangay Tan-awan and brought him to the Oslob District Hospital before he transferred to a private hospital in Cebu City.

“When the rescue team arrived with the victim in the hospital, the physicians said he (Ishida) was alive. Only that he was unconscious. Then he was rushed to (a) Cebu City (hospital) for further treatment. As of today (Monday), he has already regained consciousness,” Baquiran told Cebu Daily News Digital in a phone interview this afternoon, March 25.

He said that Ishida’s wife suspected that the Japanese national lost consciousness while swimming with the whale-sharks.

“We also asked the wife if her husband had any history of health diseases but she said there were none,” said Baquiran.

“She told us that she suspected (that) the victim was swimming deep, then maybe lost consciousness along the way. He was wearing a life vest and a diving mask,” he added.

Oslob town that is located 118 kilometers southeast of Cebu City is famous for its whale-shark watching activities./ dcb

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