(WXXI News & AP) A ferry carrying 189 passengers and crew capsized Thursday minutes as it left a central Philippine port in choppy waters, leaving at least 36 dead and 26 others missing, coast guard officials said. A retired Livonia volunteer firefighter was on board that ferry and tried to save others. He was with his wife and mother-in-law.
48 year old Larry Drake used to be a member of the Livonia Fire Department and also was an EMT. He tells WXXI News he served there for 13 years and he now lives mostly in the Philippines after just having gotten married to a Filipino woman earlier this year.
He says the boat capsized soon after it left port.
"A big gust of wind, a big wave hit the left front of the boat and the boat started tipping up like it was going to tip over so everybody went flying to the front and on to the left side and tried to push the boat back down but it was way too late. And it just went around and within 6 to 7 seconds it went from normal to upside down within seconds."