Four still missing after dive boat sinks in Philippines

Manila, May 1 (EFE).- The search continued Monday for four people missing in the Philippines after their dive boat sank around Tubbataha Reef.

Another 28 people were rescued after the sinking early Sunday morning, the Philippine coast guard told EFE.

“There is one coastguard vessel and ten other private vessels searching for the missing divers,” said coast guard spokesman Armand Balillo.

“Dream Keeper” left Cebu island on Thursday with 32 passengers, and arrived at the reef on Saturday night, the coast guard said.

It received information about the sinking at around 6.49 am local time Sunday and 28 people had been rescued soon after.

The owner of the boat, a dive master and two students, all Filipino nationals, are still missing.

The tourist yacht, which was transporting divers to the reef, located between the islands of Palawan and Mindanao, sank for reasons still unknown, however bad weather is believed to have hit the area.

Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is one of the most important marine protected areas in the country and was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1993.

It covers 96,828 ha, including the North and South Atolls and the Jessie Beazley Reef, and UNESCO describes it as an “excellent example of a pristine coral reef with a spectacular 100-m perpendicular wall, extensive lagoons and two coral islands.” EFE


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