59 rescued in another sea mishap in the Visayas

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The hull of the passenger boat suddenly cracked when it was hit by big waves and strong winds. Photo courtesy of Analyn Mendoza Calimbo.

Tacloban City (CNN Philippines, August 12) — A passenger boat bound for the island town of Tagapul-an in Samar province partially sank on Monday.

Samar Coast Guard Commander Lieutenant Junior Grade Welky Homer Saga said the MB Miar Romces was on its way back to Tagapul-an when its big waves and strong winds caused its haul to crack.

Saga said that the weather was fine when the passenger boat left Calbayog port but it suddenly changed after the vessel sailed about 100 meters from the port.

He said all 59 individuals, including the crew, were rescued by personnel from the Philippine Coast Guard, Calbayog City Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Council, PNP Maritime Group and Lite Ferries Crew. Nobody was hurt.

A final report on the incident will be released this evening by the Coast Guard in Samar, Saga said.

This is the latest in the recent string of sea mishaps in the Visayas region. Among these incidents is the capsizing of three boats in the Iloilo-Guimaras strait, causing the deaths of at least 31 people.

The Transportation department has ordered the suspension of Coast Guard commanders in Iloilo and Guimaras, as well as the Maritime Industry Authority Regional Director for Western Visayas pending a probe into the incident.