The 11,405 dwt passenger ro-ro ferry Thomas Aquinas sank after collision with the 146 meter long, 9,691 dwt freighter Sulpicio Express Siete. The ferry was approaching the port around 9 p.m; when the Sulpicio Express Siete bow struck into her side. The Thomas Aquinas began to fill with water and listing over before it sank in waters 200 meters deep.
The 752 passengers and 118 crew on board had to abandon ship into the waters. Many jumped into the sea with life vests. The crew sent out a distress call with the Philippine Coast Guard dispatching rescue craft to the scene. The Sulpicio Express Siete, local fishermen and rescuers were able to rescue 682 passengers and crew. Many survivors were sicken by ingesting oil and seawater. Reports state 28 bodies were recovered and over 200 passengers and crew were listed as missing. No reports of injuries on the Sulpicio Express Siete. The freighter suffered hull damage to its hull above the waterline. When the ferry sank some of the ferry’s 20 tons of diesel fuel and 120 of bunker oil was released into the water. Authorities dispatched oil containment equipment to the area.
- Passenger ship carrying 20 tons of oil when it sank, says PCG (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- The MV Thomas Aquinas Sink in The Phillipines (mojiakubudel.com)
- 32 dead, 58 missing in Cebu sea mishap (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Death toll hits 34 in Philippines ferry accident (bostonherald.com)