Philippines Ferry Sinking is 2nd in 2 Days

In this photo released by Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine Coast Guard members assist survivors as they transferred to a rubber boat near the waters of Cavite province's Limbones island, south of Manila, Philippines, Thursday, Dec. 24, 2009.
AP Photo/Philippine Coast Guard
The Philippine coast guard says a passenger ferry has sunk near an island south of Manila, leaving three dead and 22 missing.

The incident comes just two days after a Christmas Eve collision between a ferry and a fishing vessel in the same area. That ferry sank, leaving 3 dead and 24 still missing and likely dead.

Today, the Baleno 9, which carried 88 passengers and crew, sank off the coast of Batangas, near Isla Verde, an area famous for its marine biodiversity.

The coast guard says 63 people have been rescued. The cause of the accident is not clear.

In an interview with local radio DZBB, Philippine Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Commander Armand Balilo said they are investigating the cause of the accident but quoted survivors as saying that water entered the ship's bow, causing it to tilt on one side and eventually sink, reports CBS News' Barnaby Lo in Manila. A passenger from a passing ship said the ship went out of control after it was hit by big waves.

Balilo said that the boat was not overloaded since it can carry up to 250 people.

Search and rescue teams from the Philippine Coast Guard and Navy are combing the area for more survivors.