Boat capsizing leaves two dead in southern Philippines

Photo: Philippine Navy

Two people were killed after the boat they were riding in capsized off Sulu province in the southern Philippines on Thursday, July 15.

The incident occurred in the evening (local time) of Thursday after the jungkong-type wooden-hulled light ferry Friendly, which had 17 passengers and two crewmen, sailed through rough seas off Sulu’s Luuk municipality.

At 20:35, the crew of a Philippine Navy multi-purpose attack craft (MPAC) that was responding to another maritime accident in the same area chanced upon three adrift individuals who were later identified as passengers from Friendly. All three were taken aboard the MPAC and brought to shore as local authorities continued their search for the capsized boat and its 16 other occupants.

At 05:30 on Friday, July 16, two fishermen sent a radio message to a nearby naval station saying that they had spotted the missing jungkong boat as well as a number of survivors drifting in the water near the overturned vessel.

The subsequent search and rescue operation by assault boat crews of the Philippine Navy and the Philippine Marine Corps led to the recovery of 14 survivors and two deceased passengers.

The 17 survivors have all since been brought to Sulu and were given food, clothing, and medical attention.

An investigation revealed Friendly had earlier departed Maluso in Basilan province and was en route to Sulu’s capital of Jolo when it capsized.

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