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Philippine Ferry With 177 Aboard Sinks; 50 Rescued

December 19, 1985|United Press International

MANILA — A ferry carrying at least 177 people from Manila to a southern Philippine island sank Wednesday, and the U.S. Navy said it was able to rescue as many as 50 survivors during an all-night search.

Three more passengers from the MV Ascuncion were plucked from the water earlier by the MV Ragna, a ship in the Philippine Coast Guard's auxiliary section.

The cause of the sinking was not immediately known.

The U.S. Navy continued its search for survivors throughout the night. About 12 hours after the Ascuncion sank, the Navy found dozens of survivors treading water.

The Navy vessel "has picked up between 47 and 50 people, and there are more in the water," said Chief Jack Leigh of the U.S. Naval Base at Subic Bay. He did not say how many more survivors were spotted.

Leigh said passengers told rescuers that there were about 150 passengers and 27 crew members aboard the vessel when it sank at 5:30 a.m. Wednesday.

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