Search, rescue operations resume-A A +A
Sunday, August 18, 2013
CEBU (Updated) -- The search, rescue and underwater retrieval operation resumed Sunday morning for the missing passengers of the sunken ferry that collided with a cargo vessel in Cebu waters Friday night.
As of 5:50 p.m. Saturday, the Philippine Red Cross said 40 passengers of the M/V Saint Thomas Aquinas were confirmed dead; 31 of them were unidentified.
On the other hand, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported in its 9 a.m. update that the collision has 33 confirmed deaths, 19 of whom have already been identified. A total of 169 individuals remained missing.
As of 8 a.m. Sunday, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD)-Central Visayas identified 19 of the fatalities:
1. Anonat, Domingo, 67, Male
2. Ancla, Necita, 73, Female
3. Ancla Jr., Vecente, 72, Male
4. Arbutante, Antonio, 71, Male
5. Colipano, Cresenciana,75, Female
6. Butao, Lolita, 51, Female
7. Caro, Evelyn, 52, Female
8. Camanzo, Alfonso, 71, Male
9. Jobenes, Teogenes, 72, Male
10. Manalon, Armida, 59, Female
11. Escrupolo, Romulo, 73, Male
12. Durano, Cherry, 28, Female
13. Sanchez, Jane, 30, Female
14. Diaz, Joshua Rene, 4, Male
15. Balacuit, Eugenia, 66, Female
16. Maligro, Hilario, 53, Male
17. Galopee Queeni, 21, Female
18. Bonotan, Artemia, 63, Female
19. Laag, Honorata, 78, Female
The OCD said four other names are subject for cross matching and identification from next of kin.
The M/V Saint Thomas Aquinas had 832 passengers on board when it collided with M/V Sulpicio Express Siete around 9 p.m. Friday.
NDRRMC also reported that 667 passengers and crew members for both vessels were rescued, as of Sunday morning. Partial list of Cebu sea mishap survivors
Divers from the Armed Force of the Philippines and the Philippine Coast Guard, and the disaster volunteers of the local government units in Cebu are helping in the ongoing search and rescue operation. Two teams of divers of Philippine Navy, and personnel of the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Department of Health are also in the area.
Central Command operations center chief Elmer Base said two Air Force helicopters joined assets of the Navy, Coast Guard and other civilian volunteers in the conduct of the search. He said the helicopters will check for survivors and casualties in the shoreline.
He added that Central Command chief Lieutenant General Roy Deveraturda also requested for additional technical divers from the Navy.
Some of the 17 more groups that have committed to help in the operation Sunday, include the Accident Control and Emergency Rescue Team (ACERT), Philippine Air Force (PAF)/PLDT Smart, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG)/MS Boat, Central Visayas Search and Rescue (CevSAR), Rescue 5, ODRREM, Sea Knight, Philippine Red Cross (PRC) and CC Bantay Dagat.
Rear Admiral Luis Tuason Jr., Philippine Coast Guard vice commandant for operations, said the Coast Guard has deployed teams to contain the oil spill at the site of the collision on Friday evening.
Accidents at sea are common in the Philippine archipelago, because of frequent storms, badly maintained boats and weak enforcement of safety regulations.
In 1987, the ferry Dona Paz sank after colliding with a fuel tanker in the Philippines, killing more than 4,341 people in the world's worst peacetime maritime disaster.
In 2008, the ferry M/V Princess of the Stars capsized during a typhoon in the central Philippines, killing nearly 800 people.
Survivors said many of the passengers were asleep at the time of the accident, while others struggled to find their way in the dark. (SBG/Sunnex)