Divers from the U.S. Navy are joining their Philippine counterparts
Wednesday, in the search for more victims inside a passenger ferry that
capsized during the onslaught of Typhoon Fengshen.
More than 800
passengers and crew were on board the "Princess of the Stars" when it
sank off the central island of Sibuyan. Philippine coast guard and
naval officials say divers have found the bodies of 15 people floating
in one section of the ship, many without life jackets.
About 50 more bodies have been discovered floating several kilometers away from the wreckage.
President George Bush pledged American help with the rescue effort
during a meeting Tuesday with Philippine President Gloria Arroyo at the
The Philippine coast guard says more than 40 people from the ferry have turned up alive.
transportation authorities have banned the ship's owner, Sulpicio
Lines, from operating while they conduct an investigation.
is one of the largest ferry operators in the Philippines and it has
been involved in three other disasters. In 1987, its Dona Paz ferry
collided with a tanker, and more than four thousand people died.
Fengshen made landfall on southern China as a tropical storm
Wednesday. The region has been plagued by torrential rainstorms, and
flooding this month has killed scores of people and forced the
evacuation of nearly two million residents.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.