Philippine Coast Guard Rescues Passengers and Crew from Sinking Ferry


A total of one hundred sixty eight (168) passengers and crew of MV Asia Malaysia were rescued before the vessel was reportedly sunk at vicinity four (4) nautical miles Southeast off Culasi, Panay Island around 8:50 in the morning of July 31, 2011.

Based on the report, MV Asia Malaysia departed Port of Cebu around 6:00 in the evening of July 30, 2011 bound for Iloilo City. Around 4:45 in the morning of July 31, 2011, Station Commander of Coast Guard Station Bohol received a call from one (1) of the passenger onboard MV Asia Malaysia of Trans Asia Shipping Lines Inc that the vessel is in distress and listing to starboard (right side) while underway between Panay Island and Negros.

After hearing the report, all coast guard units near the area were alerted and was directed to conducted search and rescue operation particularly Coast District Visayas, Coast Guard Station Iloilo, Coast Guard Station Bacolod, Coast Guard Detachment Ahoy, Coast Guard Detachment Estancia, Coast Guard Detachment Cadiz at Coast Guard Auxiliary of Iloilo and Bacolod.

In view of the this incident, Philippine Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Ramon C Liwag PCG deployed two (2) vessels (BRP Edsa and BRP Corregidor) and one (1) PCG Helicopter to assist in the conduct of search and rescue operation. While Coast Guard District Western Visayas has also dispatched one (1) Patrol Craft (DF-7) and other deployable response group under his command.

Around 8:50 in the morning, Commodore Athelo Ybañez, District Commander of Coast Guard District Western Visayas that the vessel already sunk at vicinity 4 nautical miles South East off Culasi, Panay Island with all one hundred sixty eight (168) passengers and crew safely rescued by Philippine Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary, Bantay Dagat and passing vessel MV Filipinas Cebu and MT Phil Visayas. The rescued passengers were being brought to Iloilo City and Bredco, Bacolod City where other Coast Guard personnel, Medical Team and Local Government units are waiting for immediate medical attention and other necessary assistance to ensure the health and safety of all survivors.

With the sinking of the vessel, Admiral Liwag has also directed Coast Guard District Western Visayas to prepare its maritime pollution equipment while the two (2) Coast Guard vessels and one (1) helipcopter was also directed to conduct survey and monitor the incident area for possible oil spill brought about by the sinking of MV Asia Malaysia. Moreover, Admiral Liwag has also ordered the probe to determine the cause of the incident.

Source: PhilippineCoastGuard,August 2, 2011

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