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Ferry Boat Tragedy in Ormoc

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  • Ferry Boat Tragedy in Ormoc

    This is another painful tragedy for the people of Ormoc, Philippines who have been badly hit by Typhoon Haiyan before. A ferry boat with 173 passengers and 14 crew members capsized near the port of Ormoc. To date, 38 people were already confirmed dead while 15 are still missing.

    The ferry boat capsized because of strong winds and waves. There is an ongoing weather disturbance in the area which could have contributed to the bad sea condition.

    The real cause of the accident is not yet known but investigators are still trying to find out whether the accident was caused by the weather condition or overloading.

    Here’s a link on the story:

    http://cnnphilippines.com/regional/2...rmoc-City.html
    dillinger10 likes this.

  • #2
    There certainly seems to be some discrepancies in the cause of the ferry capsizing. This CNN article quotes a coast guard who believes that the boat left the port too quickly and as a result the passengers panicked, crowded to the right side of the ferry, throwing the boat off balance and causing it to tilt slowly before capsizing. By contrast, the Philippine Red Cross Chairman, however, believes that the boat overturned because of high winds, potentially impacted by the monsoons in the Philippines.

    gracer In your best estimation, what percentage of the population of the Philippines uses ferry transportation on a daily basis?
    Tumbleweed and gracer like this.

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    • gracer
      gracer commented
      Editing a comment
      I'm not really sure about the facts dillinger, but on my own estimate I can say that maybe around 70-80% of Filipinos use boats or ferries as modes of transportation on a daily basis as the Philippines is mainly composed of islands (7,107 islands to be exact). Remote islands only have small boats to utilize as their means of transportation. We have had a lot of ferry and boat disasters here over the years now, mainly due to human error or overloading. I just hope that this latest disaster is not another cause of overloading because it would be more painful for the families of those who died to accept what their loved-ones have gone through. Truly another sad disaster for Ormoc.

    • dillinger10
      dillinger10 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks so much for taking the time to provide such a detailed explanation gracer. This was incredibly insightful and helpful. Given the fast number of people that use boats or ferries as part of their daily transportation, this helps to explain why these types of events happen with some regularity in the Philippines, especially when combined with overcrowding and using vessels that have fallen into disrepair.

  • #3
    Update:

    42 people are now confirmed dead. There are still 11 more people missing while 132 have survived.

    I hope this is not a case of overloading of passengers which is often the case for ferries and ROROs that capsize in the Philippines. A thorough investigation should be done so this will not happen again!
    gracer likes this.

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    • #4
      This is going to be the beginning of a long monsoon season. I don't ride on water based vehicles when it is July to October because those were the times when the weather of the Philippines is not safe. I just can't take such risk. If Japan gets a lot of Earthquakes, Philippines is bombarded by storms. I wonder if this Perry is under Sulpicio lines because that shipping company had been involved with a lot of tragedy in the ocean. I feel bad for the families of the victims.
      gracer likes this.

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      • #5
        It appears that there is a distinct possibility that the ferry was over its legal capacity. According to this report by The Business Standard, the ferry had a carrying-capacity of 178 passengers. This ABC News article reports that the coast guard said there may have been more people aboard the vessel than were originally listed in its passenger manifest. Authorities believe that 187 people were on board. However, with the latest death toll now announced at 54 and news that 142 people have been rescued, it appears that at least 196 people were on board and officials have not ruled out finding more bodies.

        Survivors from the ferry have also accused the ship's crew of not distributing life vests despite the bad weather and there have also been reports that the ferry was carrying hundreds of sacks of cement and rice which would have further added to the weight of the boat.

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        • #6
          Originally posted by dillinger10 View Post
          It appears that there is a distinct possibility that the ferry was over its legal capacity. According to this report by The Business Standard, the ferry had a carrying-capacity of 178 passengers. This ABC News article reports that the coast guard said there may have been more people aboard the vessel than were originally listed in its passenger manifest. Authorities believe that 187 people were on board. However, with the latest death toll now announced at 54 and news that 142 people have been rescued, it appears that at least 196 people were on board and officials have not ruled out finding more bodies.

          Survivors from the ferry have also accused the ship's crew of not distributing life vests despite the bad weather and there have also been reports that the ferry was carrying hundreds of sacks of cement and rice which would have further added to the weight of the boat.
          Hayy this is what I have been dreading. Most ferries here do this all the time. They carry many passengers beyond the carrying capacity of their vehicle. Most accidents involving ferries happen because of overloading problems. The authorities should have stricter policies regarding this. Tsk.

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          • #7
            Well they were taking that risk because they were a business. The owner of this Ferry boat thinks more about the short term profit than the long ERM damage to their reputation. This is the reason why I don't want to be involved in the transport business. People's lives were at risk and if an accident happened, it is the owner who gets the blame. Then owner obviously got greedy that he doesn't care about the safety of his passengers and with that, the number of passengers, is beyond the maximum capacity. Now the risk this company had taken backfired.

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            • #8
              Originally posted by Billy View Post
              Well they were taking that risk because they were a business. The owner of this Ferry boat thinks more about the short term profit than the long ERM damage to their reputation. This is the reason why I don't want to be involved in the transport business. People's lives were at risk and if an accident happened, it is the owner who gets the blame. Then owner obviously got greedy that he doesn't care about the safety of his passengers and with that, the number of passengers, is beyond the maximum capacity. Now the risk this company had taken backfired.
              Although there are reports that the main cause of the ferry capsizing was driver error, one would have to imagine that the overcrowding exacerbated the mistake, especially when combined with the 80 sacks of cement purportedly on board.

              While previously it was reported that there were at least 196 people on board, the latest report suggests that there were at least 204 passengers - of which 59 people died and 145 survived. There are also reports that along with cement, the ferry was carrying rice,fertilizers and nipa shingles.

              That article also states that survivors have filed murder complaints against the owner and crew. Billy When these types of serious infractions take place, how often do the owners get adequately punished? How prevalent is corruption in these types of cases?

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              • #9
                In relation to dillinger10's question, the latest regarding the boat accident says that the police have already filed multiple complaints of murder against the owner and crew members of the capsized ferry boat that killed a total of 59 people to date.

                There were a lot of discrepancies with regards to the number of passengers listed on the manifesto and the total number of passengers noted upon counting all the survivors and the people who died.

                Investigation also revealed that the boat might have been overloaded not only with passengers but with cargo as well. Sacks of rice and cement were noted to have been included aboard the small ferry which made it even harder to move and be maneuvered.

                The captain and 10 crew members are now detained in the Ormoc police station.

                Here’s a link to the story:

                http://www.mb.com.ph/ferry-owner-cre...urder-charges/

                Comment


                • #10
                  The death toll increased today to 61. This now puts the unofficial number of those on board at 203 - well above the legal limit. This is backed up by comments from the Philippines Coast Guard. The ferry's manifest listed only 173 passengers on board, complying with the capacity limits, and that some of the names of the passengers had been changed.

                  gracer Billy Do you know what the cost would be for a ticket to board this type of ferry? I tried to find this information online but couldn't find anything definitive.

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                  • #11
                    dillinger10 According from a friend of mine who has been to Ormoc and Camotes Island as a tourist 4 years ago, the ticket price ranged from $1.25 to $2.25 each ride during that time. So I'm guessing the price now has increased to about $2 to $4 each ride. I just learned that the residents of Camotes Island use boats everyday to go to Ormoc and buy their basic goods because there's no market in their Island. So imagine the daily risks these people are facing just to buy their basic goods. Right now, the coast guard has temporarily stopped travels by boat from Camotes Island to Ormoc and vice versa due to the ongoing investigation on the tragic accident. The residents are now begging for the coast guard to allow them to travel because they haven't been able to buy goods for almost a week now.

                    On a latest report from the local news channels here, the death toll has now reached 62 as the coast guard has recovered another body near the wreckage site yesterday. The body belonged to a young boy around 2-4 years old.

                    Two high ranking coast guard officials have also been relieved from their post because of alleged negligence on their part. They are being questioned as to how the boat was even allowed to travel given the number of people who were in it and the amount of cargo it was carrying.
                    dillinger10 likes this.

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                    • #12
                      Thanks so much for taking the time to respond and provide so much information gracer This is incredibly helpful and insightful. Given that residents of the Camotes Islands have no other choice but to use a ferry on a daily basis, they are putting their lives at risk every single day. I can understand their frustrations, as with no other alternatives, they are forced into using these types of ferries.

                      From what I have read, it seems that a lot of these ferries are very old, are in need of repair and in some instances not designed to for operation in certain waters. This combined with overcrowding and reports that often times these companies hire inexperienced crew members makes for a horrible situation for all involved.
                      gracer likes this.

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                      • #13
                        Thanks dillinger10. You're right. Most of these boats are old and worn out but they're still being used to transport the residents from Camotes Island to Ormoc. Now, the investigators are claiming that the accident happened because of human error and not because of overloading but on my personal point of view, the accident has been caused by both factors. Imagine the weight of cement and sacks of rice contained together with the already overloaded passengers. It was such a tragic accident that could have been prevented if only the concerned authorities did their job and the owners of the ferry followed the rules.

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                        • #14
                          Originally posted by gracer View Post
                          Thanks dillinger10. You're right. Most of these boats are old and worn out but they're still being used to transport the residents from Camotes Island to Ormoc. Now, the investigators are claiming that the accident happened because of human error and not because of overloading but on my personal point of view, the accident has been caused by both factors. Imagine the weight of cement and sacks of rice contained together with the already overloaded passengers. It was such a tragic accident that could have been prevented if only the concerned authorities did their job and the owners of the ferry followed the rules.
                          I agree. From everything that I have read, it seems that overcrowding along with the bags of cement, rice and fertilizers at the very least exacerbated this accident. As you so rightly stated, although driver error may have caused the boat to jolt forward, it would appear that the weight factor, due to the boat being overcapacity, impacted the boat capsizing. I do have to wonder, would the criminal charges be lesser if the investigation were to show that driver error was solely responsible? If so, you would imagine the boat owners would be doing everything within their power to steer the investigators to this conclusion.

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