Survivor: Abandon ship call came too late

June 24, 2008 at 10:44 AM
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LUCENA CITY, Philippines, June 24 (UPI) -- A survivor of a Philippines ferry that capsized in a typhoon says the order to abandon ship came too late to help many of the 849 passengers and crew.

Philippines officials Tuesday said 57 people who were aboard the MV Princess of the Stars have been found alive so far. One of them, Susan Lisbo of Quezon City, Philippines, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer the ship was already heavily listing when the captain issued an "abandon ship" order.

Lisbo said the order from Capt. Florencio Marimon came "too late. The ship was tilted and no longer returning to its natural floating position. I sensed that something was wrong. It was now different," she told the newspaper from her hospital bed at the Quezon Medical Center in Lucena City, Philippines.

Lisbo was one of 28 ferry passengers who survived by crowding onto a lifeboat that drifted to a coastal village in Quezon province.

The 23,000-ton ferry sailed from Manila Friday on a trip to Cebu City, but the winds of Typhoon Fengshen lashed the boat, capsizing it Saturday off Sibuyan Island, the newspaper said.

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