MANILA, Philippines — A group of 28 ferry passengers and crew washed ashore after drifting at sea for more than a day from the site where a typhoon capsized their ship and left hundreds missing and presumed dead, officials said today.
The ship carried more than 740 passengers and crew.
Manila's DZBB radio said the survivors, 20 male passengers, four women and four crewmen, drifted at sea for more than 24 hours wearing their lifejackets, reaching Mulanay township in eastern Quezon province late Sunday. The raising the total number of survivors to 38. All were discovered after making it to land.
Coast guard chief Vice Adm. Wilfredo Tamayo said rescuers may have to bore a hole in the ship to allow divers access to area where many aboard the ferry were believed to have been trapped.
Coast guard frogmen who managed to get to the stricken ship got no response when they rapped on the hull with metal instruments, then had to give up late Sunday due to the strong waves.
"They're scouring the area. They're studying the direction of the waves to determine where survivors may have drifted," coast guard spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Arman Balilo said.
Typhoon Fengshen has killed at least 163 others across the sprawling archipelago, setting off landslides and floods, and knocking out electricity.