Photos: Romblon Sun
The passenger ro-ro ferry Shuttle RORO 1 ran aground in Looc Bay, Philippines. The ferry was en route to Odiongan with 106 passengers and crew from Dumaguit on its scheduled route. Conditions began to worsen as tropical storm Gener approached. The vessel soon was battling big waves and heavy rains. The master of the Shuttle RORO 1 decided to seek shelter and headed for Looc Bay. As the vessel entered the bay, it struck the coral reefs. The ferry suffered hull damage and extensive water ingress. After contacting the Philippine Coast Guard, the master ordered to abandon ship as the vessel flooded. The Coast Guard dispatched rescue craft to the scene. Reports state four passengers had perished or were missing while the rest were rescued by the Coast Guard. The survivors were taken to Odiongan Island. Authorities are conducting a search and rescue of the area. No signs of oil pollution, but authorities are monitoring the situation.
Updated reports state the vessel had capsized by a strong surge of waves striking the ferry after it ran aground. Afterwards, a fire broke out and has burned most of the superstructure of the vessel. The survivors, 59 passengers and 41 crew, were being housed at Romblon State University. The one passenger perished during the rescue effort.