20 passengers rescued from capsized motor banca off Cebu

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 8) — Twenty passengers, mostly foreign tourists, were rescued from a motor banca that capsized off the coast of Malapascua Island in Daanbantayan town, Cebu Monday morning.

Rescued were 16 tourists—five Americans, three Germans, two Spanish, one Israeli, one Italian, one Canadian, one Australian, one Swiss, one from Hong Kong—and four Filipinos. Thirteen of them were foreign divers, three foreign dive instructors, one local dive master, and three local crew.

It is not yet known what caused the incident.

The MBCA Thresher Shark was cruising near Malapascua and Capitancillo islands on an island hopping trip around 11 a.m. when the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) unit in the area received a distress call. The PCG, stationed in neighboring San Remegio town, launched a rescue operation.

PCG-7 spokesperson Michael John Encina said the rescued passengers are now safe, with no reported injuries.

Daanbantayan is located 127 kilometers north of Cebu City, or about a three-and-a-half hour drive from the province's capital.

Cebu-based journalist Dale Israel contributed to this report.