CALAPAN, Oriental Mindoro — The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Saturday said it rescued all but one of 95 passengers from a partially capsized ferry boat off the coast of Sibuyan Island in Romblon province.
The cause of the sinking is under investigation but it was reported that MB King Santo Niño 7 was new, on its maiden voyage and operated as a “special trip” as there was no regular trip along the route it took.
The PCG posted on Facebook that there were 95 passengers on the manifest, including five crew members, on the 96-maximum capacity boat. One motorcycle was also on board.
In a later interview, Corcuela Mayor Elmer Fruelda said 116 were rescued from MB King Santo Niño 7, which left the port of Calatrava town around 1 p.m.
The boat was about 30 minutes away from its destination, Corcuela town, when the accident happened.
He confirmed the death of a 55-year-old female passenger, a treasurer of Bgy. Tacasan.
A PCG physician later found out that the victim did not die of drowning but of other causes.
“If it (rescue) came late for another half hour or an hour, there would have been more casualties according to those who survived. Around 3:30 p.m., the rescue was cleared out. It was finished,” said Fruelda.
Most of the rescued passengers were students who were coming home after attending a summer camp in Calatrava. PNA