Navy divers say they have found no signs of life in the hull of a ferry which capsized in a typhoon in the Philippines at the weekend. After days of hope, it is becoming clear that the operation involving the Princess of the Stars is now one of recovery and not rescue.
The ferry sank on Saturday off the island of Sibuyan with more than 800 people on board. Only three dozen passengers and crew have so far been found alive.
The news has come as a cruel blow to one man among the relatives waiting for news in Manila: “What we heard is that they will start burying the dead because the ferry company is not co-operating. They have not sent any coffins so they will just start burying the dead. We want to be taken to the site so we can look for them, if they are dead already. We want to know what the company plans to do.”
Residents of the small coastal village near the upturned ship are also bracing themselves for the worst. Some in San Fernando have started making coffins as officials voice concern over whether they can cope with the potential number of fatalities.