SEVEN members of a rowing team from Boracay island died after the boat they were practicing in sank off the island in Aklan province on Wednesday morning, according to a police report.

The dragon boat was carrying 21 people when it sank around 7:30 a.m.. The other 14 team members survived, according to the report.

One of the survivors said the sea was calm when they left Bulabog beach on Boracay island. But after passing by the reef, strong waves engulfed the boat and filled it with water.

“The boat sank and the paddlers were holding on to the boat,” according to the report. “However, strong waves and current made the boat roll over.”

The victims were not wearing any life vests and one did not know how to swim, it said. Two of 14 survivors, two were Chinese and Russian citizens.

The rowing team was practicing for a Taiwan competition, Allan Victor T. Dela Vega, commander of the Philippine Coast Guard in Western Visayas, said by telephone.

“What had happened was really unforeseen and very, very sad. We are still waiting for the investigation,” he said. — Emme Rose S. Santiagudo