Thursday, July 2 – A Philippines ferry capsized leaving over a hundred passengers in a very dangerous situation.
The vessel was 33 tonnes and turned over in the water just a few hundred feet from the Ormoc city port. The boat was in the middle of a regular passenger service. This kind of boat is typical in the Philippines for fishing but also for transporting passengers and cargo to various islands. This specific trip was to Camotes Island…unfortunately, around noon, that trip was cut short.
There were hours and hours of search and rescue missions for the passengers but there was a brief pause due to weather conditions. According to Asher Dolina, Chief Superintendent/ground commander, tropical storm Linfa was passing through the north side of the Philippines and caused the search to be halted for a short period.
Nicasia Degesica is a 57 year old seamstress and she was one of the many people frantically waiting at the port for news of their loved ones. Her sister, Erlinda Rosales, was aboard the boat. Relatives anxiously watched as rescue boats came in. They called hospitals and morgues in search of their family members.
As of now, the search for survivors is over. Armand Balilo is a Philippine Coast Guard spokesman commander and reported that there were 187 total people on board the Kim Nirvana. Of those 187 people, there are 142 confirmed survivors. The remaining 45 people have been accounted for and are confirmed dead.
Gilbert de la Cruz is a 10 year old boy and one of the 142 survivors. When the boat tipped, Gilbert was able to jump off the vessel and grab a hold of an empty water drum. The drum served as a floatation device until coast guards were able to extract him. His father, who was not aboard the ship, comforted Gilbert on the port. Unfortunately, Gilbert was not alone on the ship. His mother and two siblings (including a one year old) were aboard with him and did not make it out alive.
The vessel was dragged to shore today and flipped upright. Authorities are now focusing their attention to trying to determine the cause of the boat upturning. All the vessel’s 14 crewmen will be subject to questioning by government officials. Joseph Emilio, Transportation Secretary said:
“We will get to the bottom of this and make sure that this does not happen again. Is it force majeure? Is it human error? We have to know all the facts before we talk about culpability.”
Condolences to the families of those who were lost in the accident. Well wishes to those injured and RIP to those who have passed.
CNN “38 killed in Philippines ferry disaster” Youtube. 2 July 2015. Web. 3 July 2015.