MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – At least two people were reported killed and 10 others were missing Wednesday, June 13, after a ferry sank in choppy seas off Palawan, the coast guard said.
The wooden-hulled MV Josille 2 was carrying 34 passengers and 12 crew members when it was reported before dawn to have sunk off the northern coast of Palawan, the coast guard said. The wooden ferry boat traversing the open sea from Taytay to El Nido in northern Palawan around 11 pm Tuesday evening.
Navy and Coast Guard vessels were reported having difficulty approaching the shallow waters where the vessel reportedly sank near Tent Island.
At least 22 have so far been rescued even as naval officials said they were still having difficulty approaching the sunk vessel since early morning of Wednesday because of strong waves and wind.
“Two are confirmed dead, while 22 have been rescued and the rest are missing,” a coast guard official monitoring the incident told AFP.
“We resumed the rescue at daybreak and the waves are still strong but our navy vessels have already seen the distressed vessel. Apparently it ran aground and all we could see was its mast,” Cmdr. Alex Lopez, commander of the Joint Task Force Malampaya in El Nido, said. “We’re finding our very best to find more survivors,” he added.
Ferries are one of the main modes of transport in the country, and sea accidents are common due to poor safety standards and overloading. – With a report from the Agence France-Presse