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Sunday, July 14, 2024

7 missing in sea collision off Palawan

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Rescuers searched waters off the Philippines on Sunday for seven people missing after a collision between a fishing boat and a cargo ship, authorities said.

The Philippine fishing vessel and Marshall Islands-flagged MV Happy Hiro collided Saturday east of Palawan Island, the Philippine Coast Guard said.

The fishing boat capsized and sank in the Sulu sea, coast guard spokesman Commodore Armando Balilo said.
Thirteen of its 20 crew members were plucked from the water by another fishing boat before being transferred to the Happy Hiro.

They suffered minor injuries.

The coast guard deployed rescue teams from nearby stations to scour the waters for the seven missing crew members.
The Philippines, an archipelago of more than 7,000 islands, has a poor maritime safety record.

Mishaps and overcrowding are common on vessels that are often wooden-hulled outriggers used for fishing or transporting people.

On Monday, seven people were killed and 127 were rescued after a fire ripped through a ferry and forced passengers to jump overboard.

The 186-person capacity fast craft boat was about a kilometer from Real, in Quezon province on the main island of Luzon, when the blaze started.

Meanwhile, 26 people were missing Saturday after a ferry ran out of fuel and sank in bad weather off the coast of Indonesia, officials said.

The country’s search and rescue agency said the vessel was carrying 43 people when it capsized on Thursday in the Makassar Strait, the sea separating the islands of Sulawesi and Borneo.

News of the accident only reached officials on Saturday, said the local head of search and rescue Djuanidi, who like many Indonesians goes by only one name.

“Seventeen people have been rescued alive by two tugboats that were passing by. We have deployed a rescue team to search for the missing others,” he said.

A group of 40 rescuers were at sea searching for survivors, Djuanidi added.

Marine accidents are common in Indonesia, a Southeast Asian archipelago of around 17,000 islands where safety standards are often lax.

Last week a ferry carrying more than 800 people ran aground in shallow waters off East Nusa Tenggara province and remained stuck for two days before being dislodged. No one was hurt.

In 2018 more than 150 people drowned when a ferry sank in one of the world’s deepest lakes on Sumatra island.

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