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55 rescued as ship sinks in Calapan

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10:51 PM January 31st, 2013

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By: Madonna T. Virola, January 31st, 2013 10:51 PM

THE ILL-FATED ship MV Baleno 168 of Besta Shipping Lines starts to sink after tilting at the Calapan City port. MADONNA T. VIROLA/INQUIRER SOUTHERN LUZON

CITY OF CALAPAN—At least 55 passengers were rescued from a ship that took in seawater as it was about to dock here Thursday.

A Philippine Ports Authority source, who talked on condition of anonymity until details of the incident are officially released, said the MV Baleno 168 of Besta Shipping Lines tilted on its starboard side when it reached this city’s port.

The vessel sank at around 10 a.m. after taking in 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 Inquirer.

He said the vessel left the Batangas port at 6:30 a.m.

Delda belied speculations that there were holes in the vessel which caused it to sink.

“We are also investigating where the water came from,” he said.

He refused to discuss more details until he has given an official statement to port authorities and the Coast Guard.

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