Passenger ship sinks off Calapan City

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03:19 PM January 31st, 2013

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By: Frances Mangosing, January 31st, 2013 03:19 PM

MV Baleno 168 lies on its side after sustaining damage to its propeller while about to dock at the port of Calapan City Thursday. All passengers and crew were safely evacuated. Photo courtesy of Vic Deguzman

MANILA, Philippines—A roll-on roll-off vessel sank after it sustained damage to its propeller while preparing to dock Thursday in the port of Calapan City in Oriental Mindoro, but all passengers were safe, the Philippine Coast Guard said.

At least 55 passengers were rescued from M/V Baleno 168 of  the Besta Shipping Lines, which lied on its side after taking on water.

It was maneuvering to dock in Calapan when an unusual sound came from the vessel’s engine about 9:30 a.m. They later found out that its starboard propeller was pulled out about two meters along its shank, PCG spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Armand Balilo said.

The vessel partially sank at around 10 a.m. after taking on water and when the crew shut the ship’s engine down, said ship captain Marlon Delda.

“All 55 passengers are safe. Our 29 staffers helped them get out of the vessel,” Delda told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

The ship was moored in Calapan Pier.

All the 18 rolling cargoes were still aboard the ship, Balilo said.

On December 27, 2009, M/V Baleno 9 went down in fair weather off Verde Island, Batangas, leaving six people dead and 44 missing. With a report from Madonna T. Virola, Inquirer Southern Luzon

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