Valdosta Daily Times

Top News

August 17, 2013

Ferry sinks in collision in Philippines; 24 dead

MANILA, Philippines — A ferry with more than 800 people aboard sank near the central Philippine port of Cebu after colliding with a cargo vessel, killing at least 24 people. Hundreds of others were rescued, the coast guard said Saturday.

Dozens were still missing, but authorities could not give an official figure.

The captain of the ferry MV Thomas Aquinas ordered the ship abandoned after it began listing and then sank after the collision late Friday, coast guard officer Joy Villegas said.

Cebu coast guard chief, Cmdr. Weniel Azcuna, said 24 people, including children, were confirmed dead and 629 passengers had been rescued by early Saturday.

Speaking by telephone from Cebu, Azcuna said they were still searching the waters for survivors. He also said authorities were still trying to determine the actual number of people on board.

In a statement, ferry owner 2Go said the roll-on-roll-off ship had 723 passengers and 118 crew or a total of 841 people aboard and carried 104 20-foot (6-meter) steel containers.

It said the ferry “was reportedly hit” by the cargo vessel “resulting in major damage that led to its sinking.”

Azcuna said the coast guard was still focused on rescue off Cebu, 570 kilometers  (350 miles) south of Manila, and will begin investigations later.

Navy divers told reporters at the scene of the collision, about 2 kilometers from the shore, that they saw several dead bodies still underwater.

Danny Palmero, a former fisherman, said he was with friends who responded to the ferry’s distress call and rescued seven people on their motorized outrigger canoe.

“I saw many flares being shot,” he said by telephone. “As a former nautical student, I knew it was a distress signal.”

He said a fisherman arrived at the shore later with three survivors and told the crowd gathered that there was a collision and that there were many people in the water.

“We just picked up the survivors and left the dead in the water,” he said. “I heard screams and crying.”

The crew of the cargo ship was throwing life jackets to the people who jumped into the dark waters.

He said there is a large gash at the front of the cargo vessel. “It now has a mouth,” he said, describing the ship’s bow.

Two coast guard vessels and other nearby ships were involved in the rescue operation.

Hundreds of passengers jumped into the ocean as the ship started to sink, according to survivors. Many of the passengers were asleep and others struggled to find their way in the dark.

Jerwin Agudong said he and other passengers jumped overboard in front of the cargo vessel after the ferry began taking on water and the crew distributed life jackets.

He told radio station DZBB that some people were trapped and he saw bodies in the water.

“It seems some were not able to get out. I pity the children. We saw dead bodies on the side, and some being rescued,” he said.

He said the ferry was entering the pier when the cargo vessel, which was on the way out, suddenly collided with it.  

“One of the persons who jumped with us hit his head on metal. He is shaking and he is bloodied,” Agudong said.

The 138-meter (455-foot) -long ferry sank in about 30 minutes, he said.

The youngest among those rescued was an 11-month baby, news reports said.

The ferry came from Nasipit in Agusan del Sur province in the southern Philippines on a daylong journey, Agudong said.

Accidents at sea are common in the Philippine archipelago because of frequent storms, badly maintained boats and weak enforcement of safety regulations.

In 1987, the ferry Dona Paz sank after colliding with a fuel tanker in the Philippines, killing more than 4,341 people in the world’s worst peacetime maritime disaster.

In 2008, the ferry MV Princess of the Stars capsized during a typhoon in the central Philippines, killing nearly 800 people.

1
Text Only
Top News
  • AP7107260254 copy.jpg Today in History for Saturday, July 26, 2014

    Today is Saturday, July 26, the 207th day of 2014. There are 158 days left in the year.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brother sues W.Va. senator over business loan

    U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin III faces a $1.7 million civil suit filed by a brother over a lifeline to save a family carpet business. in the late 1980s.

    July 25, 2014

  • Darth Vader is polling higher than all potential 2016 presidential candidates

    This week FiveThirtyEight released the results of a poll of Americans' opinions on the "Star Wars" universe. Not surprisingly, Jar Jar Binks is the most reviled character in the series. As Walt Hickey notes, the Gungan from Naboo posted lower favorability numbers than Emperor Palpatine, "the actual personification of evil in the galaxy."

    July 25, 2014

  • DDS Commissioner Announces Expansion of Commercial Driver Training Program

    Department of Driver Services (DDS) Commissioner Rob Mikell announced today an expansion of the commercial driver training program administered by the Agency’s Regulatory Compliance Division.

    July 25, 2014

  • Mideast Iraq_Rich copy.jpg Iraq elects new president amid attacks

    Iraqi lawmakers elected a veteran Kurdish politician on Thursday to replace long-serving Jalal Talabani as the country’s new president in the latest step toward forming a new government. But a series of attacks killed dozens of people and Islamic militants destroyed a Muslim shrine traditionally said to be the burial place of the Prophet Jonah, underscoring the overwhelming challenges facing the divided nation.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hong Kong Shutdown_Rich copy.jpg Hong Kong firms on edge as blockade looms

    As activists vow to shut down Hong Kong’s financial district in protest at China’s attempt to hobble democratic elections in the city, businessman Bernard Chan is preparing for the worst.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mideast Israel Palest_Rich copy.jpg UN school in Gaza caught in cross-fire; 15 killed

    A U.N. school in Gaza crowded with hundreds of Palestinians seeking refuge from fierce fighting came under fire Thursday, killing at least 15 civilians and leaving a sad tableau of blood-spattered pillows, blankets and children’s clothing scattered in the courtyard.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hahira getting new traffic signal

    Georgia Department of Transportation traffic signal technicians plan to install a new signal Wednesday at U.S. 41/state Route 7 and SR 122 in Hahira that will make turning easier and safer.

    July 25, 2014

  • AP00072403324 copy.jpg Today in History for Friday, July 25, 2014

    Today is Friday, July 25, the 206th day of 2014. There are 159 days left in the year.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Council amends noise ordinance

    The Valdosta City Council opted not to table a proposed change to the noise ordinance Thursday night before passing an amendment which will strengthen the ordinance in residential areas.

    July 25, 2014

Top News
Poll

School starts again in about two weeks. What do you think?

It's still summer. School starts too soon.
Seems like the right time to return.
Abolish summer recess. Make school year-round.
     View Results