BBC Home
Explore the BBC



Last Updated: Sunday September 06 2009 12:53 GMT

Hundreds saved from sinking ferry

Rescued passangers arrive back on land

More than 900 people have been rescued after a ferry in the Philippines sank with around 960 people on board.

The SuperFerry 9 was sailing off the coast of the south Asian country when it began tilting.

The coastguard, the navy, the air force and private boats rushed to help the distressed ship, managing to carry most of the passengers to safety.

Officials say five people have died and around 60 are still missing but the rescue operation is continuing.

Authorities say most of those who were rescued were taken to safety on navy ships.

Rescue operation

Map of the area

Several other smaller boats which had responded to the SuperFerry 9's distress call also helped carry passengers back to land.

The Philippine air force and army sent helicopters to help search the sea for those still missing.

The ferry ran into trouble in the early hours of Sunday morning, about 530 miles south of the Philippine capital city, Manila.

It's not known what caused the boat to sink but the weather, which can sometimes cause problems for big ferries, was reported to be good.