The Ormoc City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) said 35 people have died after a motorized boat reportedly carrying around 189 (some reports said the boat was carrying around 173 passengers) capsized. One hundred thirty four were rescued but more than 20 passengers were still missing.

Photo by: I. M.

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said the incident occurred on Thursday early afternoon.

The boat sank between 650km to 200 km off shore.

The 33-gross-ton motorized boat regularly brought passengers from Ormoc City to Camotes Island.

The boat's captain and crew are now in the custody of the Philippine coast Guard (PCG). But, we do not know yet if the captain was the first one to escape before those passengers. The Eastern boat that capsized in June this year and the Sewol boat capsized last year; both captains were among the first ones to get out of the capsized ships leaving their passengers behind scrambling for their lives.

Divers are still searching under the capsized boat, as there might be some people trapped underneath.

Some of the passengers were unconscious when brought to the shore to receive medical attention.

Most passengers are really lucky that it happened near the shore during daylight or else the aftermath could be worse.

We have to wait for investigations before we can be sure that the boat was overloaded. Boats in the Philippines are frequently overloaded and many have safety issues. Armand Balilo, a spokesperson for the Philippine Coast Guard, said the windy condition contributed to the disaster, however he added, “the sea condition was manageable.” Well... maybe not manageable as the boat capsized!

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