Ship capsizes in northern Philippines; 9 rescued | world | Hindustan Times
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Ship capsizes in northern Philippines; 9 rescued

world Updated: Nov 26, 2008 09:53 IST

A rescue vessel and several commercial ships battled strong waves on Wednesday to try and pull 11 crewmen from the raging sea in the northern Philippines after their cargo vessel capsized overnight.

Nine sailors were rescued and the remaining 11 were wearing life jackets and clinging to ropes tied to their vessel, coast guard Cmdr Rudyard Somera said.

The stricken vessel, Mark Jason, was on its way to Batanes islands in the northern Philippines when it encountered strong waves late on Tuesday.

Somera said the captain of another vessel nearby reported to the coast guard that the crew was abandoning the stricken ship. He tried to get closer but couldn't because of strong waves, Somera said.

"They trained their search lights on the vessel and observed that the crew were wearing life jackets," he said.

At least four other ships and a coast guard vessel joined the rescue and dropped five life preservers toward the crew, Somera said.

He said the Philippine air force and the navy also were asked to help.

Earlier this month, separate storms capsized two passenger boats in the central Philippines, drowning more than 50 people.

Sea accidents are common in the Philippine archipelago because of tropical storms, badly maintained boats and weak enforcement of safety regulations.

In December 1987, the ferry Dona Paz sank after colliding with a fuel tanker, killing more than 4,341 people in the world's worst peacetime maritime disaster.