62 survive ferry mishap off Sibonga, Cebu
CEBU CITY –– Rescuers picked up 62 survivors in a ferry mishap off Sibonga town, south Cebu on Thursday.
Lt. Junior Grade Michael John Encina, spokesperson of the Philippine Coast Guard in Central Visayas (PCG-7), said all 62 passengers and crew members were safe.
“There are no reported missing persons,” he said.
MV Siargao Princess, a passenger vessel, was carried away by the waves on Thursday morning.
The passengers abandoned the fast craft, which eventually capsized some three to five nautical miles off Sibonga.
The PCG-7 received the distress call from MV Siargao Princess at 11:15 a.m. after it encountered huge waves, with seawater already seeping inside the passenger vessel.
For at least two hours, passengers, including children, were all drifted at sea onboard a raft and wearing their life vests.
An initial investigation from the Coast Guard revealed that the front hatch cover of the vessel was detached causing water to seep into the vessel.
MV Siargao Princess dipped to its front and eventually sank.
A total of 59 people were rescued by the Coast Guard personnel and transferred to the Cebu City port aboard BRP Suluan.
Three other people, who swam towards the shore, were brought to the provincial hospital in Carcar City.
Encina said the fast craft left Loon town in Bohol en route to Sibonga around 9 a.m. when it encountered “big waves that caused the ship to take in water.”
Based on the manifest, MV Siargao Princess left Loon with 55 passengers and seven crew members.
Encina said an investigation would be conducted to find out what caused the fast craft to capsize.
Policewoman Maria Teresa Sanchez, one of the passengers, was grateful that all passengers survived the tragedy.
“We are very thankful. This is a huge miracle,” she said in Cebuano in an interview over radio DyLA.
Sanchez, who is assigned in Calape town, Bohol, was supposed to attend a training at the Philippine National Police Regional Training Center in Sibonga.
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