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Filipina saved from drowning off Stanley

21 October 2017

by Daisy CL Mandap

Rescuers wheel Mary Ann to a waiting
ambulance (Photo by Brian Belisario)
A beach outing for three friends from Davao City nearly turned into a disaster earlier today, Oct. 21, when one of them nearly drowned off Stanley Beach.

The three had just had lunch at about noon when Mary Ann, 31, decided to wade into the water. Not one of the three knew how to swim.

Within minutes, Mary Ann was seen struggling in the water. At first, one of her friends said she thought Mary Ann was just waving at them a few meters from shore, but then realized she was already fighting to keep afloat.

“Wala pa hong five minutes yun. Akala nga namin nag-e-enjoy pa siya, kaya pala e nalulunod na,” said Jocelyn Exim, one of her two friends who were with her at the time.

Exim said she started shouting for help, and two Western-looking men responded by jumping into the water to save Mary Ann. In their panic, Exim said she and her other friend, Jennifer, failed to get the names of the good Samaritans.

When Mary Ann was brought to shore, an ambulance team had already arrived. Mary Ann was given first aid and rushed to Pamela Youde Eastern Hospital where she is now said to be in stable condition although she remains in intensive care.

“Kaaalis ko lang po sa ospital,” Jocelyn said. “Noong paalis na ako, ok na siya, nakakapagsalita na siya”.

The nurse attending to Mary Ann had reportedly said the patient could be discharged by tomorrow. Her employer who lives in Shatin has reportedly been informed about the incident and will fetch the helper upon discharge.

Stanley Beach before the accident (photo by Brian Belisario)
An eyewitness, Brian Belisario, a Filipino driver who was on a leisurely stroll along Stanley beach when the accident happened, took pictures as soon as he saw the lifeguards helping carry Mary Ann to the stretcher before she was wheeled into the ambulance.

“Nakita ko nung binibigyan si Mary Ann ng first aid. Ang dami nyang tubig na nainom,” said Belisario.

He immediately posted pictures of Mary Ann’s rescue on his Facebook wall, along with the warning for Filipinos to take care when going for a swim.

Just last month, another Filipina drowned while apparently on a late-night dip in Repulse Bay. Her body was found only the next day, despite a massive air-and-sea search overnight by rescuers.

Exim said she and Mary Ann are neighbors in Davao, and are both on their first contracts with their respective employers. They met Jennifer, who has been in Hong Kong for even a shorter time, only recently.

Exim said it was the first time that the three of them had gone on a beach outing. Since they rarely get to meet because of their “international” days off (meaning, no fixed day), they decided to do something different when they finally got together again.

Little did they know that the few hours that they were together would end almost in tragedy. - with a report from Ellen Almacin
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