Ferry runs aground near Dumaguete pier

Posted at 12/27/09 10:50 AM

MANILA, Philippines (1st Update) – Authorities rescued a total of 130 passengers after a ferry ran aground in Dumaguete City in the province of Negros Oriental.

No casualty has been reported.

The passengers of MV Shuttle Ferry 8, most of whom came from a Christmas vacation, were rescued from the ferry in a 3-hour operation by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

The rescue operation began at 12 a.m. Sunday and ended at 3 a.m.

MV Shuttle Ferry 18 left Dumaguete City for Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte at 6 p.m. Saturday. It was supposed to arrive in Dapitan at 10 p.m.

The ferry’s crew, however, encountered a steering problem due to the strong current of the sea, according to the PCG Dumaguete station.

The vessel was brought to a very shallow part of the sea in Barangay Looc in Dumaguete City which is estimated to be 50 meters away from the shore.

As of posting , it is still not clear if all passengers have been rescued.

The MV Shuttle Ferry 18 needs to be inspected by the Special Board of Marine Inquiry before it can be allowed to sail again.

Earlier, MV Baleno 9, a roll-on roll-off (RORO) vessel, sank off Verde Island in Batangas Saturday night, with 25 passengers still unaccounted for.

MV Baleno 9's sinking comes barely 3 days after a passenger boat was hit by a steel fishing vessel and sank in Cavite on Thursday, leaving 4 dead and 23 missing. - With reports from ANC; Johnson Manabat, radio dzMM; and DX Lapid, ABS-CBN News Dumaguete