Philippines ferry seven likely dead

Philippine authorities said Monday they had abandoned hope of finding alive seven people missing from a ferry which sank last week with dozens on board, after three days of searching in strong currents.

Rescuers recovered two bodies from the sea and rescued 61 others after the Lady of Mount Carmel went down Friday off the coast of central Masbate island, more than 300 kilometres southeast of Manila.

Regional civil defence chief Raffy Alejandro said divers had not been able to reach the sunken ferry, believed to be lying on the seabed 1,300 feet (396 metres) under water.

"We are shifting from rescue to retrieval. We will search only if someone spots something floating near the coastline," he told reporters. He said they had also withdrawn some of the search and rescue vessels.

The ferry mysteriously sank in calm weather before dawn on Friday about two kilometres (1.2 miles) from Burias island.

Alejandro said the sunken ship was in water too deep to be reached by navy divers so it could not be determined if any bodies were trapped inside.

Coast guard officials originally refused to give up hope for the missing, believing they could have swum or drifted to nearby islands.

But Alejandro said the decision to end rescue efforts was made due to lack of progress and signs of impending bad weather.

The sinking of the ferry has raised questions as it came apparently in clear weather and smooth seas. Survivors are also reported to have accused the crew of not attending to them as the ship was sinking.

Sea accidents are common in the Philippines due to poor safety standards and overloading.

The world's deadliest peacetime maritime disaster occurred near Manila in 1987 when a ferry laden with Christmas holidaymakers collided with a small oil tanker, killing more than 4,300 people. 

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Fight vs online libel goes to the UNHCR Ederic Eder, Yahoo! Southeast Asia - The Inbox
    Fight vs online libel goes to the UNHCR

    Commentary By Ellen T. Tordesillas Last Tuesday, while in Baguio City for their summer session, the Supreme Court denied all the Motions for Reconsideration on Online Libel which it upheld in its Feb. 18, 2014 decision. It will be recalled … Continue reading → …

  • Book chronicles efforts for PWD-friendly polls VERA Files - The Inbox
    Book chronicles efforts for PWD-friendly polls

    By Melissa Luz Lopez, VERA Files A lot have been done but much still need to be done for a hassle-free  participation of  Persons with Disabilities in elections,according to a book published by The Asia Foundation (TAF) and supported by … Continue reading → …

  • The other side of Palawan Ellen Tordesillas, Contributor - The Inbox
    The other side of Palawan

    By Ellen T. Tordesillas Mention Palawan and what comes to mind are Underground River and El Nido in the northern side of this richly-blessed province from its capital, Puerto Princesa. Three weeks ago, we went to the southern side- in … Continue reading → …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options