Another ship sinks off Philippines coast, crew rescued

Another ship sinks off Philippines coast, crew rescued

The four South Koreans and 15 Filipinos aboard the 4,189-ton MV Hera were plucked from the sea after hours drifting aboard an inflatable life raft, the coastguard said.

Officials initially reported that the vessel was carrying two South Koreans and 18 Filipinos, but corrected the figures.

"When the vessel sank, they transferred to a life raft," coastguard spokesman Lieutenant Commander Armand Balilo said. "They were adrift."

Hera was en route to China when it sent out a distress call late Sunday.

Coastguard commandant Admiral Wilfredo Tamayo said MV Hera had taken in water after its engine developed mechanical problems.

He said the vessel was last traced several nautical miles off Eastern Samar in the central Visayas region.

"We coordinated immediately the conduct of rescue operations, requesting naval forces in central Visayas and the Philippine Air Force in the locality to send out assets to help the coastguard," Tamayo said.

Yesterday, a passenger ferry sank off southern Zamboanga peninsula. The vessel was carrying 968 people, based on its official manifest. Of that total nine died, while 957 have been rescued, the coastguard said.