Philippine Ferry Incident - 255 People Caught in Ship Fire
gCaptain's blog brings us this story on a fire in the philippines.
Details are still emerging on a wood hulled ferry that caught fire shortly after departing Manila, Philippines. So far five people are confirmed dead and many have been injured.
The AP wire tells us:
Passengers have been rescued by passing vessels, but
authorities are not yet certain if all have been saved from MV Catalyn
D, which caught fire off Mindoro island, about 105 miles southeast of
Manila, said Commander Joseph Coyme, a coast guard spokesman.
The ship was en route from Manila
to southwestern Palawan province with at least 216 passengers and 21
crewmen on board when the fire broke out, Coyme said, prompting
passengers to abandon the ferry. Philippine Ferry Carrying 237 On Fire
Reuters tells us:
“Based on our initial investigation, the fire started in
the ship’s cargo bay,” Coyme told reporters as dozens of people plucked
from the sea were brought back to Manila.
“An investigation is underway to determine what caused the fire.”
Coyme said the coast guard received distress signals early on Sunday
morning, a few hours before the fire engulfed the ferry, causing it to
sink. The ferry left Manila late on Saturday night for Palawan. Hundreds rescued in Philippine ferry fire
The Hindu writes:
smoke billowing from the storage room of the ship, then the fire
quickly spread to the second floor and then to the rest of the ship so
we immediately put on our life jackets and jumped into the water,” said
Rod Terilla, 39, who survived with burn wounds to his back.
The ship was almost entirely gutted, with only its hull floating on the water by the time survivors were ferried away from the site by passing motor boats, Terilla added. Philippine ferry with 260 people on board razed by fire.
It’s hard to imagine that a wooden ferry would be carrying such a
large number of people and possibly with cargo that has potential to
ignite. It also seems that this is not the first incident for the
company with fatalities still in the memory of those aboard a San
Nicolas Lines ferry when it collided with a vessel in 2004.
With good and bad aspects of the decision apparent GMA news tells us:
(the company) may be charged with “reckless imprudence
resulting in possible homicide. The ship’s captain, a certain Capt.
Paeldog, is already under the Coast Guard’s custody.
The operations of eight passenger and two cargo ships of San Nicolas
Lines- that also owns the ship that caught fire off Mindoro Occidental
island - were suspended by the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina)
after the said sea tragedy claimed the lives of five people, radio dzBB
The good side of the report is the country’s Maritime Administration
is quick action. The move to pull the company’s other ships out of
service was probably a positive and potentially lifesaving measure.
Lessons learned in Bridge Resource Management and incident chain
prevention have shown the need to take action, by adding resources or
“stopping the job”, when uncertainty exists.
The bad side of the report is the potential criminalization of the
vessel’s master before the facts are clear. For those interested the Council of American Master Mariners has an excellent round table discussion on the subject which can be found HERE.
Check back with gCaptain for more on this story.
John Konrad is a USCG licensed Master Mariner of Unlimited Tonnage currently working as Chief Mate aboard a 865′ ship in the Gulf of Mexico. Since graduating from SUNY Maritime College he has sailed in 4 of the worlds oceans and reports from his ship via satellite.