A fastcraft carrying 53 passengers and seven crew members from Loon capsized in waters off its destination of Sibonga, Cebu late Thursday morning, a Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) officer said.
According to Seaman 2nd Class Michael Coquilla of PCG Bohol, the vessel, M/V Siargao Princess, overturned five nautical miles from the coast of Sibonga.
Coquilla said the vessel departed from the Catagbacan Port in Loon at 9:30 a.m. and PCG stations were alerted of the incident at 11:30 a.m.
Authorities have yet to report complete details on the safety of the passengers as search and rescue operations continued.
Initial reports indicated that the vessel was battered by strong waves but Coquilla said that they were still gathering information on the incident.
Lanie Espinosa of the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office of Sibonga told the Chronicle that so far they have only rushed two crew members of the ill-fated vessel to a hospital in Argao, Cebu.
According to Espinosa, passengers jumped off from the vessel as it started to overturn.
“Nanglayat sila kay nalunod man jud kono sila,” she said.
M/V Siargao Princess, a locally made vessel, launched its Loon-Sibonga route late last month. (A. Doydora)