75 people rescued as boat sinks off Cebu

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07:09 PM November 4th, 2011

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November 4th, 2011 07:09 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines—At least 70 passengers and five crewmen of a motor boat that was sinking off Cebu were rescued early Friday morning, a Coast Guard official said.

Rolando Punzalan, Coast Guard station commander, said the owner of the MB Ardie Express, would be investigated because the boat had a license to carry only cargo, not passengers.

Punzalan said the Coast Guard would also investigate if the boat was overloaded, though he admitted this would be difficult because the passengers were not listed on a manifest.

The Ardie Express, which was bound for Pasil fish port in this city, left the port of Talibon in Bohol about 8 p.m. Thursday, Punzalan said.

At around 2 a.m. Friday, the Coast Guard received a report that the boat was starting to sink in the Hinulungan Channel off Cordova town.

The passengers and crewmen were rescued two hours later by another motor boat passing through the area, the Coast Guard said.

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