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No P&I cover for stricken Princess of the Stars

No P&I cover for stricken Princess of the Stars

Manila: Divers have found no survivors at the scene of the Princess of the Stars ferry disaster in the central Philippines, meaning the total death toll has surpassed 800.

As the president Gloria Arroyo launches a major probe into the Coast Guard's decision to allow the ship to sail despite the clearly ferocious nature of Typhoon Fengshen Sulpicio Lines, the owner of the stricken vessel, is running for cover; the problem though is it does not appear to have cover. It has emerged that the line had a dispute with Steamship Mutual over a previous casualty and was booted out of the protection and indemnity club. It now seems likely the ship had no P&I cover making it much harder for the families of the 800-plus victims to gain any significant compensation.

Separately, at a press conference Sulpicio Lines said it was delaying any further ship acquisition for the time being.  Spokesperson Sally Buaron told reporters it would not now buy two second-hand vessels this year.   [24/6/08]