1 dead, 9 missing in Visayas sea mishaps

Robertzon Ramirez - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — A crewmember of a roll-on roll-off ferry died while nine fishermen were reported missing in two maritime incidents off the coast of Ormoc City and at the vicinity of Tanguingui Island in northern Cebu and Gigantes Island in Iloilo, respectively, on Friday.

The Philippine Coast Guard said search and rescue operations for the fishermen by the PCG’s BRP Nueva Viscaya and a PCG-manned vessel of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, MCS 3010, were ongoing yesterday.

PCG-Western Visayas deputy commander Capt. Ludovico Librilla said FV St. Peter the Fisherman II, which has 31 crewmembers, sank after it encountered strong winds and big waves.

Twenty-two other fishermen have been rescued.

The boat captain was among those missing.

One of the survivors, Pablito Desamparado, said the boat tilted before it sank while they were fishing at about 1 a.m.

The rescued fishermen were allowed to return to their homes after they were found to be in good physical condition.

In Ormoc City, M/V Lite Ferry 3 purser Raquel Alo drowned when she was trapped in the partially submerged vessel shortly after midnight yesterday.

The ferry was maneuvering toward the port when it was hit by big waves and strong winds.

The body of the victim was recovered before dawn.

Sixteen other crewmembers reportedly jumped off the ship. They were rescued by PCG personnel and a team sent by the owner of the ferry, Danilo Lines Inc.

M/V Lite Ferry 3 left Ouano wharf in Mandaue City in Cebu on Friday.

The ferry was loaded with cargo. There were no passengers on board.

Danilo Lines said it would deploy a replacement vessel today. – Gilbert Bayoran, Miriam Desacada

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