45 rescued from burning ferry off Philippine coast


Forty-five crew members were evacuated from a fire-stricken ferry off Cebu on Thursday, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said.

As informed, the roll-on/roll-off passenger ship MV Filipinas Dinagat caught fire 5.5 nautical miles off Binongkalan Point in the evening hours of 23 July.

PCG
Philippine Coast Guard vessel battling the fire on 24 July. Image by PCG

At the time of the incident, the ship left Cebu and was en route to Palompton, Leyte.

When the PCG arrived at the scene, the Philippine-registered RoPax owned by Cokaliong Shipping Lines was already fully engulfed in fire.

The crew members were immediately transferred to a motorbanca that transported them to the nearest port for further assistance. Medical assistance was provided to forty-one of forty-five crew who safely arrived at Danao Port. The shipowner confirmed that all the rescued crew members were safe and accounted for, declaring a “zero-casualty” incident.

Two tugboats were sent to the incident area to provide towing assistance. In addition, BRP Suluan (MRRV-4406), a PCG patrol vessel, arrived on the scene, informing transiting vessels about the presence of the ill-fated ferry.

As of 24 July, BRP Suluan continues firefighting efforts some 3 nautical miles east of Manlipot Point, Carmen, Cebu, the coast said in an update.

Philippine Coast Guard
Image by PCG

“According to Captain Joel Villanueva, the fire onboard is caused by electrical failure. The PCG will verify the information through proper investigation,” the coast guard added.

No oil spill has been reported.



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