Divers search for 24 missing from Philippine ferry

Last Updated: Saturday, December 26, 2009 - 13:06

Manila: Deep-sea divers searched today for
a sunken ferry and 24 missing people after it collided with
another vessel and went down on Christmas Eve.

Search-and-rescue teams, backed by six government ships
and three aircraft, have combed a 20-nautical-mile
(37-kilometre) radius of Manila Bay since Thursday, but the
ferry has yet to be located, the head of the Philippine coast
guard said.

Three bodies and 46 survivors were recovered hours after
MV Catalyn B, a wooden-hulled ferry with 73 people on board,
collided with the 369-ton fishing vessel Anathalia before dawn
Thursday near the mouth of Manila Bay. No additional bodies
have been found since.

Coast guard officials say many passengers were sleeping
and had no time to get life vests on and many of the missing
may have been trapped inside.

The 79-ton ferry was travelling from the capital, Manila,
to southwest Mindoro Island with passengers returning home for
Christmas.

Admiral Wilfredo Tamayo, the coast guard chief, told The
Associated Press divers were looking for the vessel and hoped
to conduct deep-sea searches for bodies once they locate the
wreckage.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo yesterday ordered the
owners of the ferry and fishing boat involved in the collision
to suspend operations of all their vessels.

Bureau Report



First Published: Saturday, December 26, 2009 - 13:06

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