Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said on Wednesday it is continuously combing the waters near the Malaysian border after reports confirmed that a motorized temper type boat carrying 16 passengers sank on July 30, Xinhua reported.
It was reported that seven people drowned and eight others are still missing in the accident. Only one survived the accident.
"PCG, together with the military, local police and local government unit personnel, have dispatched search teams to look for the remaining missing passengers who are all residents of Tawi-Tawi," said PCG spokesman Captain Armand Balilo.
According to the lone survivor, the boat was on its way to Sempornah, Sabah, Malaysia from Sitangkai Tawi-tawi in the southern Philippines when it was battered by big waves and eventually sank.
Reports disclosed that seven lifeless bodies were recovered by local fishermen at Sitangkai Reefs. The dead bodies were immediately buried in Sitangkai as part of Muslim tradition.
The Philippine Coast Guard Action Center said it has issued notice to mariners for all vessels transiting in the area to be on the lookout for possible survivors.
PCG has likewise coordinated with the Malaysian authorities for possible joint operations.