DUMAGUETE CITY—A small gash the size of half a ruler caused the MV Zamboanga Ferry to run aground here amid strong winds and waves spawned by tropical storm “Auring” on Thursday.
A total of 228 passengers were rescued dramatically after the ship’s captain, Roland Villarin, ordered them to abandon the vessel when waves hit its starboard (right) side.
The lone fatality, identified as Joel Nunez, 34, of Lapu-Lapu City in Cebu, died at the hospital from septicemia, or bacterial infection in the blood. “His death was not related to the typhoon,” said Senior CPO Nelson Simbajon, station commander of the Coast Guard station here.
Coast Guard divers discovered the hole in the hull below the galley where people board and disembark.
Their superiors said it was “very small” and did not threaten the structural stability of the ship. The hole measured 4 inches by 3/4 inch.