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Two dead, seven missing after Philippine boat sinks

MANILA (AFP) – Two Filipino fishermen have died and seven are missing after their vessel sank off the Philippines, the coast guard said yesterday, with a search continuing.

Fourteen of the 23 crew members of the Genesis 2 were rescued by other fishing vessels shortly after the pre-dawn incident on Thursday, which took place 337 kilometres east of the island of Mindanao.

The body of one of the fishermen was retrieved on Thursday after the vessel sank in the Philippine Sea, and a second body was found early yesterday, Joseph Dacuyan of the Philippine Coast Guard in Davao Oriental province told AFP.

“At that time the waves were really strong and the fishermen were surprised and did not anticipate they would be that strong,” Dacuyan said.

The vessel “sank within minutes” after it started taking in water, he said. The captain and six crew members are still missing.

The cause of the accident is under investigation.

A coast guard patrol vessel and five other boats of the fishing company, based in the southern port of General Santos city, are continuing the search, Dacuyan said.

The Philippines, an archipelago of more than 7,000 islands, has a poor shipping safety record, with scores dying in mishaps at sea each year, usually aboard wooden-hulled outriggers used for fishing or to move people from one small island to another.

PHOTO: ENVATO
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