Philippine navy vessels move closer to the stricken Super Ferry 9 before it sank off Zamboanga del Norte in the southern Philippines.
Coastguards said today nine people were confirmed dead and more than 30 missing after a ferry carrying nearly 1,000 people capsized on Sunday in the southern Philippines.
Passengers leapt into the dark sea, and parents dropped children into life rafts during rescue efforts on the Superferry 9, which turned on its side nine miles off Zamboanga del Norte province.
The vessel's violent rotation had roused passengers from their sleep and sent many jumping in the darkness into the water, the coastguard chief, Admiral Wilfredo Tamayo, said.
Many people aboard had panicked as the huge ferry listed, said passenger Reymark Belgira. He said he had seen parents tossing children to people on life rafts below, but he could not immediately jump himself.
(...) Rescuers transferred 926 of 968 passengers and crew to two nearby commercial ships, a navy gunboat and a fishing boat, Tamayo said. A search was under way for 33 missing people.
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