Thirty-one dead in Philippines ferry disaster

Credit: The Philippines Red Cross

Thirty-one people have been confirmed dead after three ferries capsized off two provinces in the Philippines, adding to the country’s poor ferry safety record.

On 4 August 2019 two of the motorised wood-hulled ferries, Chi-Chi and Jenny Vince, carrying a total of 96 passengers capsized near Guimaras and Iloilo provinces.

The dead were all passengers, while another three persons are missing.

Philippines Coast Guard managed to rescue 62 passengers and crew.

The third ferry, Keziah, capsized off Iloilo after being hit by a squall; it was only carrying five crew members, all of whom were saved.

All the three ferries were sailing from Iloilo to Guimaras when strong waves and wind struck.

The coastguard said that 10 bodies were pulled out from under Jenny Vince, with another body retrieved off Dumangas town.

Media reports, citing survivors, stated that the weather turned bad midway through the ferry ride, followed by strong winds that battered the vessels.

Monsoon rains have been forecast more than 1,000 km off the Philippines’ eastern coast this month.