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PCG may have found sunken MV Starlite

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) may have discovered the sunken M/V Starlite Atlantic after a large object was detected by the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (Namria) beneath the coastal waters of Tingloy, Batangas.

The ship, which sank at the height of typhoon Nina last December 26, had 33 people on board but only 14 were rescued while a lone fatality identified as 21-year-old Lyka Banayal was recorded.

Raul Belesario, head of PCG Station in Batangas said Namria’s vessel which is equipped with a sonar sensor traced the object about 78 meters from the ground seafloor near the Malajibongmanoc Island.

“This is still being validated,” said Belesario.

The sensor of the Namria ship is capable of tracing sunken vessels 200 meters to as far as 500 meters underwater.

Belesario earlier hinted the sunken M/V Starlite Atlantic, whose 18 crewmen remain missing, could be in the shallow part of the sea between 1,300 to 1,500 feet.

According to the BMI, an organizational hearing had been conducted on the incident while subpoenas had been issued to the 14 survivors, and officials of Starlite Ferries Inc., the owner of the sunken vessel. (Raymund F. Antonio)