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(2nd UPDATE) The Philippine Coast Guard races against time to rescue passengers from capsized vessel

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) was racing against time to rescue more passengers from a vessel that capsized near Manila in strong winds on Thursday, July 26, with the loss of at least 25 lives, officials said.

It was not immediately clear how many people were on board, but disaster official Neil Ferrer told DZRH radio that 40 people had been rescued and a search is ongoing for six missing people.

Members of the coast guard were seen pulling a body of what looked like a woman without a life vest from choppy waters as they carried out search and rescue operations, a video shared by the PCG showed.

The motorized banca MBCA Princess Aya was about 45 meters (147 feet) from land when it was hit by strong winds, causing all passengers to panic and move to one side, which caused the vessel to capsize off the waters of Binangonan, the PCG said.

Binangonan is a coastal town just two hours of drive from the capital, Manila. Its coast line faces Laguna de Bay (Laguna Lake).

The Philippines, an archipelago of more than 7,600 islands, was this week hit by Typhoon Egay (Doksuri) which brought winds of up to 175 km an hour (108 miles an hour) to its northern and most populated Luzon island.

Some ferries and boats were allowed to sail on Thursday after Doksuri left the Philippines.

The Southeast Asian nation has a poor record for maritime safety, with vessels at times overcrowded and many ageing ships still in use. – with reports from Reuters

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