US divers join rescue efforts at capsized Philippine ferry

Bodies in life jackets washed up on nearby islands and drifted at sea Wednesday as divers resumed the grim work of exploring the inside of a Philippine ferry that capsized during a powerful typhoon. While the divers have only found bodies so far, officials were unwilling to give up hope of finding more survivors among the more than 800 people missing since the seven-story ferry listed and went down Saturday. "There is a slim chance that we can still find survivors (inside the ferry)," coast guard Lt. Cmdr Rogelio Villanueva said. "As the days pass, indeed the chance is getting slimmer." Four US Navy rubber boats with eight American divers went to the site Wednesday morning. Five ships, a P3 surveillance plane, two Navy HH-60 helicopters and a pilotless surveillance plane also were deployed by the US military to help search for bodies and possible survivors. The disaster could raise the storm's death toll in the typhoon-prone country to more than 1,300, with 329 people confirmed dead from flooding and landslides and more than 200 missing.