Philippine coast guard rescues 67 people from damaged boat in second ferry accident in a week

Last week, at least 27 people died when an overcrowded ferry boat flipped minutes after leaving a town southeast of the capital, Manila


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Published: Thu 3 Aug 2023, 7:45 PM

The Philippine coast guard rescued all 67 people from a ferry boat that struck a floating object and took on water Thursday off a northeastern province, in the second ferry accident to hit the country in a week, officials said.

A passenger on the Jovelle Express 3 managed to contact a coast guard station for help when the vessel was damaged after slamming into an unspecified object around midday off Polillo island in Quezon province, the coast guard said.

The 60 passengers and seven crew members were brought to Polillo and were awaiting another boat to take them to their destination in Quezon.

Last week, at least 27 people died when an overcrowded ferry boat flipped over in Laguna de Bay minutes after leaving Binangonan town southeast of the capital, Manila. Strong winds had lashed the boat sparking panic among many passengers, who moved to one side of the wooden boat and caused it flip over, the coast guard and police said.

More than 40 other passengers and crew members on the Aya Express were rescued, the coast guard said.

Criminal charges have been filed against the wooden-hulled boat’s skipper, his two crew, the owner and a coast guard officer who allowed the overloaded ferry to sail.

The skipper acknowledged that he knew the ferry was over capacity but told authorities he could not convince the excess passengers to disembark, coast guard officials said.

Sea accidents are common in the Philippines because of frequent storms, poorly maintained boats, overcrowding and weak enforcement of safety regulations.

In December 1987, the ferry Dona Paz sank after colliding with a fuel tanker, killing more than 4,300 people in the world’s worst peacetime maritime disaster.


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