GIZO: 31 July 2012 -- Bishop Luciano Capelli SDB, Bishop of Gizo, Solomon Islands, had the sad task today of writing to family, authorities, and those who had been working closely with Ryan Turallo, Filipino volunteer missionary, to inform them that at 7.00 am this morning, Ryan's body was washed ashore at Aleang village in the Shortland group.
Ryan, 30 years of age, a native of Iriga City, Philippines, was the Student Affairs Coordinator at St John Bosco Senior Technical School on Nila, in the Shortland Islands. The school, named for St John Bosco, also has a number of alumni from Don Bosco Henderson on staff.
Eyewitness reports from some of the six known survivors (there were ten people on board, including children, two of whom are confirmed dead, and one young men still missing) indicate that the boat was taking on too much water from rain and sea. The young man still missing failed to reach shore when he and another swam to a nearby island for help. The other managed to raise the alarm. Local SI Search and Rescue, as well as Australian Maritime Safety aircraft have joined in the search for the missing people. Together with the group was Fr. Edmund Siguenza, a missionary Priest sent by the Archdiocese of Caceres. He was later rescued two days after the incident and is now confined in the hospital.
The boat, which belonged to the Diocese, had waited a week for weather to improve to make the crossing, and on Saturday weather and see appeared to be suitable for the trip.
Bishop Capelli today immediately wrote to Ryan's parents, his archdiocese, and friends both in the Philippines, PNG and Solomon Islands, expressing the deep loss everyone was feeling, describing Ryan as a "lover of youth, life, with dreams and plans for himself, his beloved ones and the youth entrusted to him". He went on to say that as Student Affairs Coordinator, Ryan "has given his life as a Volunteer Missionary in a very isolated place, with great joy and enthusiasm for life". Addressing himself at one point to Ryan, he expressed the wish that "many Solomon youth may find the courage to follow in your footsteps at the service of the Church and the youth