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World Briefing / Philippines

Woman rescued after ferry sinks

September 08, 2009|Times Wire Reports

A Philippine air force helicopter plucked to safety a woman who drifted for about 30 hours in choppy seas after the sinking of a ferry that left nine dead. Only one of the nearly 1,000 people who were on board remained unaccounted for.

Homemaker Lita Casumlum, 39, was found bobbing with a life jacket about eight miles from where the Superferry 9 sank Sunday. Rear Adm. Alex Pama, who helped supervise the rescue, called it "a miracle."

Although she was weak and could hardly speak because of a sore throat, Casumlum was upbeat and joked with reporters at a military hospital in Zamboanga city, telling them she had lost money at sea but found two small crabs in her pocket after her rescue.

A massive air, land and sea search will continue for the lone missing passenger, and a special coast guard ship has been deployed to check signs of an oil spill, officials said.

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