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A man stands on the capsized passenger boat in Binangonan, Rizal province, Philippines, July 27, 2023, in this screen grab taken from a video. — Reuters
A man stands on the capsized passenger boat in Binangonan, Rizal province, Philippines, July 27, 2023, in this screen grab taken from a video. — Reuters

At least 25 passengers drowned after a vessel capsized off the Manila coast in strong winds on Thursday, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said in a statement as efforts to rescue more passengers continue unabated. 

The total number of passengers on board when the boat overturned remains unknown, but disaster official Neil Ferrer told DZRH radio that they have been able to bring 40 people to safety, while a search is underway for six missing people.

Members of the coast guard were seen pulling a body of what looked like a woman without a life vest from choppy waters as they carried out search and rescue operations, a video shared by the PCG showed.

The boat was about 45 metres (147 feet) from land when it was hit by strong winds, causing all passengers to panic and move to one side, which caused the vessel to capsize off the waters of Binangonan, the PCG said.

Binangonan is a coastal town just two hours of drive from the capital, Manila.

The Philippines, an archipelago of more than 7,600 islands, was this week hit by Typhoon Doksuri which brought winds of up to 175 km an hour (108 miles an hour) to its northern and most populated Luzon island.

Some ferries and boats were allowed to sail on Thursday after Doksuri left the Philippines.

The Southeast Asian nation has a poor record for maritime safety, with vessels at times overcrowded and many ageing ships still in use.


More to follow…


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