2 Ferry Accidents in 3 Days in the Philippines – a dangerous coincidence?
2 Ferry Accidents in 3 Days! First the burning ferry off Dapitan port and now the capsized ferry in the Port of Consuelo on Camotes island. This must be very bad news for the Philippine Travel Mart 2019 currently held in Manila. Many tourists like to discover the Philippines’ islands by ferry.
MV Lite Ferry 16
MV Lite Ferry 16 caught fire at around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday night. The ferry had been on its way from Samboan Port in Cebu. It was heading in the night towards Pulauan port of Dapitan, Zamboanga del Norte. The fire broke out about 1.5 miles from the port. First investigations indicate that the source of the fire had been in the engine room.
Fortunately a FastCat Ferry had left said port just 40 minutes before and caught the distress signal. The FastCat ferry turned and rescued most of the passengers. Depending on the source we lament two to four death cases.
MV Mika Mari 8
Today, MV Mika Mari 8 of Jumalia Shipping capsized in the port of Consuelo on Camotes island. The ferry had arrived in port and had disembarked the 149 passengers. When rolling out the cargo, the ferry lost balance and turned over the starboard side. Fortunately nobody reported fatalities up to now.
Photo source: facebook
2 Ferry Accidents – what is MARINA doing?
MARINA is the Philippines’ Maritime Industry Authority. They do have an extremely difficult task. Ensuring the maritime safety and promote maritime industry. This is like catching a mosquito in the dark bedroom at night.
Already in 2015 they wanted to phase out wooden hull ships. But even after the Iloilo-Guimaras incident this year, they are still discussing solutions. Latest meeting had been held in Iloilo a week ago.
In 2016 MARINA wanted to get rid of all steel hulled vessels that were 35 years and older (see here). Except of the sunken ferries, none had been dismantled up to now.
MARINA seems to be navigating in troubled waters. They try to enforce laws and regulations while crushers from maritime industry and high seas form local shipping associations wash over them.