Eight missing after boat sinks in Bataan: Coast Guard

Posted at 01/31/10 11:56 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Eight fishermen have been missing at sea for almost a week after their boat went down west of the Philippine capital, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said Sunday.

The E.J. Brother was reported by its owner to have sunk in rough waters off the province of Bataan on January 25 with only two of its crew rescued by a passing vessel, said PCG spokesman Commander Armand Balilo.

It was unclear why the fishing boat's owner only reported the sinking days later, the coast guard spokesman told Agence France-Presse.

PCG investigators in the area have been instructed to question the owner and to find the two rescued fishermen to get more details on the incident, Balilo said.

Shipping accidents are common in the Philippines and usually involve poorly maintained wooden vessels, which are relied on for much sea travel and for fishing in the archipelago.

About 70 people were left dead or remain missing after two ferry mishaps in December alone.