The tragedy with the
superferry 14 from
_ Last November I visited the
Philippines for a long stay with friends in CDO and was collected by
some of them in Manila international airport.
Our plan was to travel together to CDO(Cagayan de Oro) by boat and we bought
tickets for boarding the superferry14 two days later.
In a meanwhile we slept in some cheap accommodation somewhere in
Parañague, part of Manila.
the superferry 14 on its way to Bacolod
_ We went on board
November 20 in
the late evening and the vessel departed from the cay at midnight.
In a silent way the vessel slowly steamed out of the Manila bay heading
for the first port of call Bacolod.
Leaving the Manila area was what we really liked because of the
of the air in this big metro pool and then at sea at least fresh air
We did have a wonderful time on board, we slept in the tourist section-Blue.
In April 1992 I was also travelling by boat, but to Iligan with one stop
in Iloilo with the vessel M/S "St. Ana"(Negros
Navigation Company) and
I remember well how dirty this vessel was and how terrible the toilets and
also the washing- and shower area.
_ Anyway, this superferry 14 was a clean ship with a friendly
crew and everything seemed to be in good condition.
Also I checked a part of the safety equipment.
This means I took notice of the indications in the ship where to go ''in
case off'' and looked for our safety belts (under the beds where we slept).
_ Of course it's not possible to check the lifeboats if they
will work in a proper way, you have to trust the company for care taking
their safety equipment!
_ I was shocked to hear from my friends in CDO when they informed
me about the disaster with the same ship we were travelling with including our fine memories.
_ I have some knowledge about disasters at (in) sea and safety
equipment, also of some physical and mental problems of people who will
be involved in some tragic accidents because I was having a job in some
institute in the Royal Dutch Air force where airforcemen are trained in
surviving on land and in/on water/sea.
So, that's why I always watch safety(equipment) and signs which has to
show escaping out of some area in buildings and ships.
_ My thoughts are with these people who
still missing their relatives but also with the badly wounded and also
less affected pino's off course.
This moment the search for the missing
persons is still continuing.
Lets hope and pray they will soon be found,
dead or alive, but better alive off course!
Filipino Express, on line", march 8 2004
After 7 days of search, 129 passengers of Superferry 14 remain missing; 2 confirmed dead
MANILA, March 4, 2004 — A week after the Superferry 14 caught fire on Feb. 27 in Manila Bay, the fate of more than a hundred missing passengers has remained a mystery as rescuers have found no bodies or survivors inside its half-submerged hulk.
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said that the salvage teams had nearly finished inspecting the bowels of the Superferry 14, which was consumed by flames after an explosion at sea, and nothing could be seen but debris.
As of this writing, only five bodies were recovered from the wreckage. Three of the bodies were retrieved Wednesday from the ferry’s galley, and two were from the cargo hold. A total of 129 people onboard the ferry remain unaccounted for.
“We already made a half-sweep and 70 percent of the ship has been searched,” PCG Chief Arturo Gosingan said in a report. “There are no signs of life, but there are also no bodies. So far we only found debris.”
Even as hopes of finding survivors dimmed and the stench of decomposing bodies from the wreck grew stronger, the PSC officials said that rescue operations will continue with the search.
_ The 10,192-ton interisland roll-on, roll-off ferry was en route to Bacolod from Manila with 899 people on board when it caught fire.
Two people were confirmed dead and more than 700 people were rescued.
Uncertainty also continued over the cause of the blast.
The Muslim rebel group Abu Sayyaf claimed responsibility, but government and military officials set such claim aside.
The Abu Sayyaf identified one of its members, Arnulfo Alvarado, as having planted a bomb aboard the ferry.
The rebels said Alvarado was listed as passenger 51 in the ferry’s manifest.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, however, doubted the claim, saying there was no evidence of a bomb and that none of the survivors appeared to have shrapnel
The president added that it was just a propaganda ploy.
In earlier reports,
Gosingan said the discovery of Alvarado’s name on the manifest did not prove that the Abu Sayyaf was involved, remarking that “they could have just said anyone on the list of missing is one of their (members).”
He said later on that Alvarado’s name was not on the list of those aboard.
“We are conducting a background investigation of this person but as of now, we have no result,” Gosingan said.
A spokeswoman for the ferry operator, Gina Virtusio, said the fire first broke out in the packed dining area and that an explosion was heard prior to that.
But “we still don’t know what really happened,” she said.
_ Inter-island ferries are the backbone of maritime transport in the Philippines.
The Superferry accident is only the latest to hit the industry.
More than 4,000 people were killed in the world’s worst peace-time maritime disaster when the Dona Paz ferry collided with an oil tanker off Central Mindoro island in 1987. —Anthony D. Advincula contributed to this story.
The Superferry in its
present situation, early march 2004