Philippine government officials refused to give up hope of rescuing some of the 800 people missing after MV Princess of the Stars capsized last Saturday, even as the still-roiling seas stalled efforts to get inside the vessel yesterday.

Officials of the National Disaster Coordinating Council have raised the number of confirmed survivors from 28 persons earlier in the day to 57. The confirmed dead also rose from 16 to 20.

The 28 survivors reported earlier were found in a lifeboat on the shoreline of Mulanay town in Quezon province, while 25 survivors were found on the shores of Burias Island in Masbate province.

In my opinion the government shares the blame in this catastrophe. It is the government that sets the regulations on which ships are allowed to sail under bad conditions. This ship was allowed to sail during the warning level that was in place. I’m sure if they had not left port the liner would have been criticized for not sailing when the government says it is safe. Ultimately, it is the captain of the ship and the shipping lines call, the current conditions put pressure on the firms to sail when they should have stayed in port.

Philippine Government officials have “grounded” all ships operated by Sulpicio Lines Inc. Sulpicio was the operator of the sunken Princess of the Sea. The length of the suspension is indefinite. The government wishes to confirm the sea worthiness of all of the liners ships.

Four survivors were found washed ashore in San Fernando, Romblon last Sunday.

Divers heard no response when they hammered on the tip of the 23,824-ton Princess of the Stars that was jutting from the water off Sibuyan Island.

“We’re not ruling out that somebody there is still alive,” Coast Guard Chief Wilfredo Tamayo said. “You can never tell.

These ferries are a common means of travel from one island to another for both Filipino and expats. The rates are less than a third of the cost of air travel making them extremely popular and the Philippine nautical highway is being promoted by the national government.


Typhoon Frank Kills

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