A boat carrying sacks of rice intended for quake victims in Negros Oriental capsized at sea on Saturday but all of its 55 passengers were rescued, authorities said

The M/B Aga Fe was on its way from Ronda, Cebu, to the quake-hit town of La Libertad when it capsized in the Tanion Strait around 2 p.m., Office of Civil Defense administrator Benito Ramos said.

“Fifty-five sila lahat sa bangka, 100 sako ng bigas ang dala nila intended for the earthquake victims. Naputol ang katig kaya lumubog,” Ramos said in a phone interview.

The OCD chief identified some of the passengers as April Joy Erames, Paul Denemerito and his son Justin, Karen Kilat, Abito Urod, Job Mascardo, Aron Benoya, Christian Amores, and John Mabanag.

Divers of the Philippine Coast Guard were immediately sent to the area to conduct rescue operations while helicopters of the Air Force helped in the search.

“Mabuti naman at naligtas sila lahat, ‘yung dala nga lang nilang bigas ay naiwan na sa dagat,” Ramos said. (John Roson)

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