3 survivors say missing Philippine cargo ship sank, killing 1; 12 others still missing

08/09/2010 - MANILA, Philippines — A cargo ship that went missing with 16 crew after being lashed by big waves has sunk off the central Philippines, killing one person, the coast guard said Monday. Three of the crew survived and 12 others were missing.

Coast guard ships and aircraft were searching for the missing crewmen of the 498-ton SF Freighter, which sank off Dos Hermanas island in Marinduque province Saturday after being buffeted by waves and developing engine trouble, coast guard chief Adm. Wilfredo Tamayo said.

The crew abandoned the ship as it sank off Marinduque, about 100 miles (160 kilometres) southeast of Manila. They drifted aboard two life rafts in stormy weather.

Three stunned crewmen, including the ship captain, were found on Monday along the coast of Quezon province, about 60 miles (100 kilometres) away from where their ship sank. The body of another crewman was discovered in a nearby coastal village, Tamayo said.

The ship was en route to Cebu from Manila with a cargo of steel bars when its skipper radioed the ship owner, Seaford Shipping, on Saturday to report the problem before all contact was lost.

After the distress call, the coast guard began a search.

A tropical depression roughed up the weather in the northern and central Philippines with monsoon rains and fierce winds before moving away from the country Sunday. (The Canadian Press)

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