Coast Guard mulls halting search for Cebu ferry victims

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The damage to the bow of the cargo ship Sulpicio Express Siete is seen Saturday Aug.17, 2013, a day after it collided with a passenger ferry off the waters of Talisay city, Cebu province in central Philippines. AP

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Sunday said they may have to stop the search and retrieval operations for victims of the Cebu sea tragedy, citing safety concerns, a Radyo Inquirer 990AM report said.

PCG Spokesperson Commander Armand Balilo said the lives of divers may be endangered if they continue the search operations for passengers of MV St. Thomas Aquinas.

He said the waters where the ferry sank is dark and littered with debris. Nevertheless, he said the divers will still have to evaluate the situation.

The ship, owned by 2Go Travel, sank near Cebu on August 16 after a colliding with Sulpicio Express Siete.

As of Saturday, 114 bodies were recovered while 23 are still missing.

Balilo also said the Special Board of Marine Inquiry will soon release its findings on the sea mishap.

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