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Search continues for missing cargo ship in the Philippines

Search continues for missing cargo ship in the Philippines

Manila: The Philippine coast guard was still searching at close of day on Sunday for a domestic cargo ship with 17 crewmen that disappeared after encountering big waves and reporting engine trouble, reports AP.

Crewmen aboard the 498-ton SF Freighter radioed the ship's owner, Seaford Shipping, on Saturday to report the problems but shortly afterward all contact was lost, coast guard chief Admiral Wilfredo Tamayo said.

The owner launched an initial search near the ship's last known location off the coast of Marinduque province and contacted the coast guard, Tamayo said. At least five coast guard and private vessels were involved in the search, but bad weather and poor visibility were hampering the effort, he added.

Passing ships and coastal communities were told to be on the lookout for the ship, which was en route to Manila from central Cebu province carrying a cargo of steel bars.

Gusty wind and waves, meanwhile, pulled up the anchor of a cargo barge in Manila Bay late Saturday, causing it to ram five unoccupied huts and eight fishing boats in a coastal village in suburban Navotas city, Tamayo said. No injuries were reported.

A tropical depression, which has enhanced monsoon rains and winds in northern and central regions, moved away from the country Sunday. Ships have been warned to expect rough seas.  [09/08/10]