REAL, PHILIPPINES (REUTERS, AFP) – The Philippines’ coast guard said on Friday (Dec 22) it had rescued 252 passengers and crew, including an Australian and his Filipino wife, and recovered five dead people from a ferry that capsized east of the capital Manila.

A Philippine vessel capsized on Thursday because of bad weather, highlighting frequent boat accidents in the South-east Asian nation that is composed of more than 7,000 islands.

The Philippine Coast Guard has confirmed five deaths while 252 passengers including an Australian and his Filipino wife, were rescued, said spokesman Captain Arm and Balilo.

“All the passengers and crew are accounted for but as I have said we will re-evaluate based on the claims of the families of the missing passengers,” Balilo told Reuters.

Filipino ferries, which seasonally brave rough seas in the Pacific typhoon belt, are notorious for overloading. The coastguard had earlier said only 251 passengers and crew were on board, but confirmed the vessel had a 286-person capacity.  Officials gave no explanation for the discrepancy but acknowledged the boat had carried more than the 251 people listed on its manifest.

Read more: https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/philippines-coast-guard-rescues-252-passengers-from-capsized-ferry?xtor=CS3-18