Ship sinks off Quezon – PCG
A ship carrying 251 passengers capsized between Dinahican Point, Quezon and Polillo Island on Thursday, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said.
Senior Supt. Rhoderick Armamento, Quezon police director, said most passengers of the MV Mercraft 3 bound for Polilio island have already been rescued and accounted for based on the passenger manifest.
“But we’re validating the information,” Armamento said in a phone interview.
Police report said the passenger cargo vessel left Real port in northern Quezon fronting the Pacific Ocean around 10:30 a.m. Huge waves slammed into the boat causing it to sink in the seas off Barangay (village) Dinahican in nearby Infanta town.
PCG spokesman Armand Balilo said they received a report that the craft sank around 11:00 a.m.
“As per initial info received, said craft has maximum capacity of 286 pax and 251 passengers were reportedly onboard,” Balilo said in a text message to reporters, quoting the report.
Juanito Diaz, acting Quezon disaster risk reduction and management council chief, said, “Initial report said the boat sustained a big hole that caused it to capsized.”
Diaz said rescuers from the Philippine Coast Guard and local disaster management offices in Infanta and Real assisted by fishers in the area saved the passengers.
“The rescuers are still scouring the water in search of other possible passengers,” he said.
The PCG has also contacted the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Southern Command for possible deployment of Air Force and Navy assets for the rescue operation, Balilo said.
He added that all vessels in the area have been advised to help in the rescue. /kga, je
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