The storyline is similar for many ill-fated boats in the Philippines. It’s often a passenger ferry which comes out in a stormy weather then keeling over, causing the deaths of innocent passengers. Disregard of travel advisories, overloading, failure to follow typhoon warnings, inaccurate passenger manifests, and lack of common sense are among the reasons why many of these boats sink.
The tragic tale had been repeated in M/B Mae Jan— the inter-island vessel which sank on Sunday, December 14, 2008 in Aparri, Cagayan. The ill-fated ferry which killed at least 23 people left port in inclement weather with about 80 passengers. Fifteen (15) were reportedly missing and 43 were rescued alive. Overloading was suspected.
Alex De los Santos of the Ballesteros Police Department named 11 identified fatalities as follows: Amy Arellano, Wilfredo Agatao, Angel Suarez, Kristine Cangas, Eva Llopis, Leonardo Llopis, Ofelia Balmes, Paz Escalante, Karen Fadero, Angela Tabo, Abella Arellano. Their bodies and that of 11 other victims were taken to funeral parlors in Aparri for identification.—Inquirer (12/15/08, Kwok, A)
Last month, on November 6, 2008, nine (9) people drowned with Rolly IV, the passenger vessel which sank in Iloilo. The dangerous maritime record of the Philippines will continue so long as no significant government action is done to curb the recurrent sea mishaps. =0=
UPDATE: December 17, 2008. As of presstime the death toll rose to 45 and 8 individuals are still missing. The boat’s owner was reported to be among the dead.
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