Archive for the ‘sea accident’ Category

Migration tragedy: 21 dead and hundreds missing as boat sinks in Mediterranean sea

April 1, 2009

In the cold waters off Libya, a frail fishing boat carrying about 250 aspiring migrants to Europe sank during stormy weather on Friday, March 27, 2009. At least 20 illegal aliens drowned and more than 200 hundred were reported missing. Mostly from Africa and Middle East, the victims were part of an undetermined number of illegal travelers who perish each year in their bid for a better life.

“Thousands of African, Asian and Middle Eastern migrants fleeing wars and poverty use Libya and other North African countries as a launching pads for the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean to southern Europe — often in rickety, overloaded boats. Another flimsy vessel with about 350 migrants was rescued about a day later in the same area where the fishing boat capsized.” AP (03/31/09, Fergany, AM; Santana, R)

Although 350 migrants in a second boat with no casualties were rescued and brought back to Tripoli, Jean-Philippe Chauzy of the International Organization of Migration (IOM) in Geneva, Switzerland said this sea mishap could be the biggest in terms of the number of dead and missing of a sea vessel leaving North Africa to Europe.

The cause of the sinking has not been known, but a Libyan police officer said the boat was overloaded, and bad weather could be a contributory factor. Some survivors however spoke of a hole that caused the boat to capsize.

The death of the migrants brings to light the growing problem of illegal immigration. In spite of efforts to curb unlawful movement of people in Europe, nationals from impoverished countries worldwide risk their lives in search for better economic opportunities.

Even those who travel with valid papers also face hardships and alienation in their search for jobs. A recent case is the humiliation and abuse by Chip Tsao, an arrogant HK journalist who disparagingly insulted overseas Filipinos whose country he referred to as “a nation of servants.” (Photo Credit: Holvic) =0=

RELATED BLOG: “New Immigration Laws Worry Illegal Aliens In Europe ” Posted by mesiamd at 6/22/2008


Fewer local jobs, rising numbers of OFW’s & fishermen plucked from stormy sea

January 22, 2009


As a consequence of the fall of the electronic industry, this is the number workers who lost their job in the major economic zone in Laguna according to reports that reached the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP.) The huge lay-offs put the pressure on workers to leave the country and seek employment abroad. It is consistent with the National Statistics Office (NSO) data showing that Philippine exports fell 11.9 percent to $3.49 billion in November, the second straight month of double-digit loss following a downward slide by 14.8 percent in October.

It is said the country lost $1.18 billion in exports, mostly from electronics ($960 million) in October to November 2008.

In a related development, the closing of Intel’s Philippine testing and assembly plant in Cavite this year will displace an additional 1,800 workers (cut down from 3,000 in November 2008) after 20 years of operation.


According to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, the number of overseas Filipino workers (OFW’s) employed abroad totaled to 1,376,823 last year. The number exceeded the 2007 number by about 300,000. Employment abroad has steadily increased from from 867,969 in 2003, 933,588 in 2004, 1,077,623 in 2007 and 1,376,823 in 2008. This indicates the continuing dependence of RP for jobs abroad to provide employment to its citizens.


The number of fishermen rescued in the stormy seas of Sabina Shoal in Kalayaan Group of Islands in January 16, 2009. All crew members of M/B Lester, they were safely brought to Puerto Princesa, Palawan after being marooned in turbulent waters for 10 hours.

P330 billion

With the goal of creating 3 million jobs and build infrastructures this year, Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo signed an additional 10% in the stimulus package bringing the budget to P330,000. The 3 million jobs represent a fourth of the 12 million presently unemployed in the country. It is doubtful if this amount is enough to offset the impact of the economic downturn. A 2009 national budget of P1.415 trillion was ratified by the congress.


This is number of evacuees from Gaza who arrived in Manila on January 21, 2009. Another 20 is about to arrive after they crossed the Gaza-Israel border on their way to Amman, Jordan. Earlier 16 Filipinos returned to escape the bloody strife between the Israelis and Palestinians which killed more than 1,000 people in three weeks. (Photo Credit: Ian Riley; Diong)=0=


With 17, 000 islands, Indonesia shares maritime woes with the Philippines

January 13, 2009

The stormy weather sucked in the Indonesian ferry Tertai Prima and disappeared in the sea on Sunday, January 11, 2009. Two days after the 700-ton (635-metric ton) inter-island vessel which plied the route in a country with 17,000 islands sank, an undetermined number travelers, part of at least 250 passengers and 17 crew onboard, had been missing and accounted for.

“The Teratai Prima, which radioed that it was in trouble just before dawn Sunday, capsized about 30 miles (50 kilometers) off the coast of western Sulawesi. It was headed for Samarinda on the Indonesian side of Borneo.”—AP (01/12/09, Ahmad, Y)

There are reports many are still alive waiting for a rescue. Horrid tales of those who survived spoke of children and elderly drowning in the fierce waters brought by cyclone Charlotte. Thirty four (34) were so far rescued and 40 escaped. Of the dead, the Indonesian government promised $2,400 each, a measly sum for each life lost that could have been more valuable and productive. In December 2006, similar sinking occurred in Java-Borneo area killing nearly 2/3 of the 600 passengers.
This story is shared in more grim terms by us Filipinos who live with 7,000 islands.

It brings recall of the woeful maritime tragedies that occur in our waters with frequency and lethality greater than in Indonesia. Most of these sea accidents in both countries are blamed on inclement weather, poor supervision and negligence of maritime and government officials, overloading, equipment failure, human error among others. We call on our respective government authorities to do something more than the status quo to prevent the next boat sinking waiting at the bend. We could just look back at some of our blogs below that stress this point. (Credits: Mauritius100’s; Lorca56)

RELATED BLOGS: “23 drown in another ferry boat mishap” Posted by mesiamd at 12/15/2008; “May barko na naman na lumubog!” Posted by mesiamd at 11/26/2008; “RP’s maritime disaster Ferry boat sinks in Masbate killing 40″ Posted by mesiamd at 11/04/2008; “Princess of the stars: a harvest of blame and shame” Posted by mesiamd at 11/08/2008; “A Sorry Maritime Safety Record Indeed In The Philippines” Posted by myty555 at 11/09/2008 =0=


23 drown in another ferry boat mishap

December 15, 2008

The storyline is similar for many ill-fated boats in the Philippines. It’s often a passenger ferry which comes out in a stormy weather then keeling over, causing the deaths of innocent passengers. Disregard of travel advisories, overloading, failure to follow typhoon warnings, inaccurate passenger manifests, and lack of common sense are among the reasons why many of these boats sink.

The tragic tale had been repeated in M/B Mae Jan— the inter-island vessel which sank on Sunday, December 14, 2008 in Aparri, Cagayan. The ill-fated ferry which killed at least 23 people left port in inclement weather with about 80 passengers. Fifteen (15) were reportedly missing and 43 were rescued alive. Overloading was suspected.

Alex De los Santos of the Ballesteros Police Department named 11 identified fatalities as follows: Amy Arellano, Wilfredo Agatao, Angel Suarez, Kristine Cangas, Eva Llopis, Leonardo Llopis, Ofelia Balmes, Paz Escalante, Karen Fadero, Angela Tabo, Abella Arellano. Their bodies and that of 11 other victims were taken to funeral parlors in Aparri for identification.—Inquirer (12/15/08, Kwok, A)

Last month, on November 6, 2008, nine (9) people drowned with Rolly IV, the passenger vessel which sank in Iloilo. The dangerous maritime record of the Philippines will continue so long as no significant government action is done to curb the recurrent sea mishaps. =0=

UPDATE: December 17, 2008. As of presstime the death toll rose to 45 and 8 individuals are still missing. The boat’s owner was reported to be among the dead.

RELATED BLOGS: “RP’s maritime disasters: a harvest of blame and shame” Posted by mesiamd at 11/08/2008; “Ferry boat sinks in Masbate killing 40” Posted by mesiamd at 11/04/2008; “Boat mishap in Iloilo, 9 dead” Posted by mesiamd at 11/06/2008; “The need for witnesses in the Princess of the Stars toxic chemical recovery” Posted by mesiamd at 9/25/2008; “Endosulfan safely retrieved: where are the other toxic chemicals?” Posted by mesiamd at 10/07/2008; “Toxic Cargo” Posted by mesiamd at 6/28/2008; “A Sorry Maritime Safety Record Indeed In The Philippines” posted by myty555 at 11/09/2008


May barko na naman na lumubog!

November 26, 2008

Paano naman di mawawalan ng tiwala tayo sa ating sarili kung panay na lang masamang balita ang nasa diaryo. Kung minsan ang ibang mga manunulat ay gusto ng maka-iwas sa mga negatibong mga balita. Nguni’t kadalasan, di pe-pwede, gaya ng malimit na pagkalubog ng ating mga barko sa Pilipinas.

Me nagsasabi na ang mga usaping nakaka-rinde gaya ng barkong lumubog ay hindi makakabuti sa lipunan. Tama, kung meron tayong ginagawa sa problema. Pero kung wala, ang pag-kukunwari na OK lang (walang masamang nangyayari) ay di mabuti! Lalo na kung tayo ay nag-aasa na ang problema ay papawi na di tayo kumikilos para magkaroon ng solusyon.

Ang pagiging positibo ay mabuti, kung may batayan. Pag wala, nakakabigay lang ito ng sandaliang pag-asa. Ang ligaya sa di pagharap sa katotohanan ay dumadaan lamang. Nandiyan pa rin ang suliranin kung ang problema ay di matugunan.

Ang mga reaksiyon na ito ay matagal ng problema natin. Halos wala na ngang gustong kumibo. Abala na lang tayo sa buhay pang-pamilya hanggang dumating ang araw na tayo na rin ang nagiging mga biktima ng problema sa kalsada. Halatang walang mai-tulong sa atin ang mga nasa pamahalaan.

Ang “denial” ay paborito nating depensa sa problema. Kadalasan ito’y umu-obra, kahit na wala tayong pag-kilos. Nguni’t ang “denial” sa tagal ay lalong nakakapalala ng ating mga suliranan. Ang di pag-harap ng katotohanan ay sa banding huli, nakakasira sa ating pamumuhay sa lipunan. Heto ang isang halimbawa:

Di pa nga tapos ang pagluksa ng mga namatay sa pamapasaherong lantsa sa Masbate na lampas 40 tao ang namatay ngayong buwan, (800+ ang namatay sa Princess of the Stars ng ito’y lumubog sa Romblon limang buwan ang nakaraan, ) heto na naman ang masamang balita ni Lt. Gary Dale Limotea ng Coast Guard. Ang cargo ship na Mark Jason na papunta sa Batanes galing Maynila ng Noviembre 17 ay lumubog. Katorseng (14) tauhan at 6 pang iba ang sakay. Buti na lang 16 ang nasalba sa incidente, nguni’t 4 na tao ay nawawala.—Philstar/AP (11/26/08)

Bakit pawang ganire na lamang ang trahedya ng ating lipunan? Wala na ba talagang pwedeng gawin ang govierno, Coast Guard, at MARINA para maiwasan ang ganitong mga sakuna? Hindi na ba natin pwedeng ma-ipatupad ang mga regulasyon ng paglakbay sa dagat? Di na ba natin maiwasan na hintuin ang pag-viaje kung meron bagyo. Hanggang “denial” na lang ba tayo na marami sa ating inocenteng mamamayan ang namamatay na di nabibigyan ng hustiya? Saan ba gagaling ang pag-unlad ng ating buhay?(Photo Credits: Mauritius100’s; Lorca56) =0=

RELATED BLOGS: “RP’s maritime disaster Ferry boat sinks in Masbate killing 40” Posted by mesiamd at 11/04/2008; Princess of the stars: a harvest of blame and shame” Posted by mesiamd at 11/08/2008; “A Sorry Maritime Safety Record Indeed In The Philippines” Posted by myty555 at 11/09/2008

RP’s maritime disasters: a harvest of blame and shame

November 7, 2008

The frequent maritime disasters in the Philippines make us look back and ponder what the country can do to prepare itself for the next sea tragedy. In Umalohokan (06/22/08, Fabonan, E) a Philippine Normal University blogsite, a review of the horrible sea disasters has been written, some of them incredibly disgusting. (see below.)

It’s amazing how the Philippine government, the coast guard, and maritime authorities don’t do enough to answer the demand of the public for a safer sea travel. This month, the latest sinking involves passenger boat Rolly IV on its way to the island of Mailoglog in Iloilo on November 6, 2008. Nine (9) passengers perished.

Two days before on November 4, 2008, ML Don Dexter Cathlyn sank in Masbate with more than 40 poor passengers dead. Recalling those who perished in the shipwrecks, here is the harvest of blame and shame which must rattle the conscience of those responsible. People who died and were lost at sea cry, ever strong than the waves, asking for justice and accountability.

1. December 20, 1987 – MV Dona Paz: Colliding with tanker Vector in Tablas Strait, the ship’s sinking in the Philippines is believed to be the world’s worst maritime disaster in modern history. Although the ships report a lower death toll at 4,375, the official number of those who died is 1,565. The 1,568 listed on the manifest is more than the licensed maximum of 1,518—suggeting overcrowding.

2. October 24, 1988 – MV Dona Marilyn: A sister ship of MV Dona Paz, this ship is owned by Sulpicio Lines. Bound for Cebu, the ship left Manila, later plunged down the seafloor and killed 254 people on October 24, 1988 during a typhoon.

3. December 2, 1994 – MV Cebu City: In December 2, 1994, the ferry sank in Manila Bay after a collision with Singaporean freighter Kota Suria claiming 140 lives. The Philippine Coast Guard ruled that the crew was accountable. The collision could have been averted if the Cebu City crew obeyed a call from Kota Suria to turn right. Instead, but the ship erroneously turned left and crossed Kota Suria’s path.

4. December 13, 1995 – MV Kimelody Cristy: A passenger ferry owned by Moreta Shipping Lines Inc. which was gutted by fire and went aground on its way to Mindoro. 17 people died and 16 were missing. Investigation disclosed the ship had only a provisional authority from MARINA officials to operate..

5. September 20, 1998 – MV Princess of the Orient: Another passenger ferry owned by Sulpicio Lines. On its way to Cebu City from Manila, it sank killing 150 people. The ship reportedly left the port of Manila even as a typhoon signal has been declared in the city.

6. December 23, 1999 – MV Asia South Korea: A passenger ferry owned by Trans-Asia Shipping Lines. On its way to Iloilo City from Cebu City during the Christmas holiday rush. It sank off Bantayan Island in Cebu province killing 44 people. The number of passengers exceeded the total capacity the ferry which left port even if authorities forbid the travel because of a storm.

7. February 25, 2000 – MV Our Lady of Mediatrix: This passenger ferry caught fire as it was about to dock. Two bombs rigged inside three buses on-board exploded killing 45 people. The government to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF.) for the incident.

8. April 12, 2000 – ML Annahada: A merchant launch sank off Sulu, Philippines on April 12, 2000; due to overloading; Of the 150 to 200 passengers onboard, 56 people were reportedly killed and over 100 missing. Most of the passengers were reportedly illegal migrants on their way to Tawi-Tawi which then serves as gateway to Malaysia and Indonesia.

9. April 11, 2002 – MV Maria Carmela: Owned by Montenegro Shipping Lines, the ship left Masbate port on April 10. 2002 but caught fire just an hour away from Lucena, Quezon, its destination. Of the 290 passengers and crew, 23 were killed and 27 reported missing.

10. May 26, 2003 – MV San Nicolas: The merchant vessel collided with WGA Superferry 12 off the coast of Corregidor Island on May 26, 2003 during an stormy weather. Of the 203 passengers, 39 people were killed; serious errors and negligence were blamed as the cause of the collision.

11. February 27, 2004 – WGA Superferry 14: Ferry operated by the WG&A Consortium which sank of the coast of Corregidor Island on February 27, 2004 after an explosion, killing at least 100 of the 899 passengers and crew. Muslim extremist group Abu Sayyaf was reported responsible for the incident.

12. June 10, 2007 – MV Cathlyn-D: Ship operated by San Nicolas Shipping which went under off Paluan Bay in Mindoro Occidental province after catching fire; out of 260 passengers, 5 people were killed; negligence was to blame. The ships in the company’s fleet were temporarily grounded.

13. June 22, 2008 – MV Princess of the Stars: The passenger ferry owned by Sulpicio Linest sank off San Fernando town in Sibuyan Island, Romblon Province. The ferry was bound for Cebu City from Manila during Typhoon Frank. It ran aground killing 823 passengers. The illegal endosulfan toxic cargo has been recovered. Retrieval of bodies is still ongoing.

14. Novermber 4, 2008- ML Don Dexter Cathlyn: The inter-island ferry sank on its way from Masbate to Sorsogon in Bicol. Inconsistent to the official number of passengers in the manifest, at least forty-two persons (42) were reported to have died, seventy-six (76) had been rescued, and thirteen (13) were unaccounted for. The bodies included 25 women, 5 men, and 4 children between ages 1 to 4. They were displayed in the town plaza for grieving relatives to identify,

15. November 6, 2008—Motor Launch Rolly IV: The ferry sank killing 9 people as it cruised to Mailoglog, Iloilo during inclement weather. As of November 8, fatalities rose to 13 people. Photo Credits: Umalohokan.blogspot; Bullit Marquez/AP; AP)=0=

RELATED BLOGS:Ferry boat sinks in Masbate killing 40” Posted by mesiamd at 11/04/2008; “Boat mishap in Iloilo, 9 dead” Posted by mesiamd at 11/06/2008; “The need for witnesses in the Princess of the Stars toxic chemical recovery” Posted by mesiamd at 9/25/2008; “Endosulfan safely retrieved: where are the other toxic chemicals?” Posted by mesiamd at 10/07/2008 ;”Toxic Cargo” Posted by mesiamd at 6/28/2008.