US Man Saves Lives in Philippines Ferry Disaster

36 dead, 19 missing after Ormoc sinking
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 2, 2015 4:16 AM CDT
US Man Saves Lives in Philippines Ferry Disaster
Survivors are brought to shore in Ormoc.   (YouTube)

A ferry carrying 173 passengers capsized today as it left a central Philippines port in choppy waters, leaving at least 36 people dead and 19 others missing, coast guard officials say. They say at least 118 passengers of the M/B Kim Nirvana were rescued by nearby fishing boats and coast guard personnel or swam to safety off Ormoc city on Leyte Island. Survivors say the bow of the wooden boat suddenly rose from the water before the vessel flipped over on one side and began to sink about 100 yards from the pier.

Among the passengers were at least three Americans and a Canadian who were rescued. Lawrence Drake, 48, of Rochester, NY, says he was able to revive a woman who wasn't breathing while they were in the water via mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. He says he's a retired firefighter and emergency medical technician. He says he also saved the woman's pregnant daughter and an 8-year-old boy. Drake, whose wife and mother-in-law survived by swimming out of the boat after it overturned, says he saw at least 7 bodies floating in the water, including two children. (Read more Philippines stories.)

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