Motorboat with 49 passengers bound for island hoppinng sinks, all passengers safe

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DAVAO CITY (May 22) – A motorboat carrying 49 people sank when they were about to leave Sta. Ana Wharf Sunday morning, but prompt rescue operations saved everyone and no one was hurt.

At about 7:55 in the morning Sunday, May 19, MV Sam Christopher, an inter island motorboat was carrying 35 adults and ten children, they were bound for an island hopping in Isand garden City of Samal.

The boat was just 150 meters away from the wharf when it gradually sank. The captain failed to maneuver because the mooring lines was entangled to the propeller causing imbalance and ultimately led the boat to shake and gradually sank.

Fortunate enough, the wharf is just steps away from the headquarters of Task Force Davao. The military personnel immediately called on the divers from Emergency Response Company of military base immediately and launched rescue operations.

Lt. Commodore George Maganto, commander of the Coast Guard Station in Davao, said all passengers were rescued by 8:20 a.m.

Maganto said boat was not overloaded, it is good for 56 passengers.

“We are conducting an investigation together with MARINA to identify who is at fault. The owner of the boat has insurance,” he said.

He said the tension between the propeller and the sinker created a hole underneath the motorboat.

“Nagkaroon ng butas sa ilalim ng banca, then doon pumasok yung tubig kaya slowly nag submerge yung banca,” he told reporters.

Maganto said all the passengers were also wearing life vests, making it easy to rescue them.

The Coast Guard will still conduct further investigation together with the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) to know the actual cause of the accident, he said, assuring that the motorboats undergo annual inspection by Marina to ensure seaworthiness-NewsLine.ph

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