MT Vector

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MT Vector
Career (Philippines)
Name: Oil Nic-II
Owner: Vector Shipping Inc (Francisco Soriano), Manila
Port of registry: Manila
Builder: Navotas Industrial Corp, Manila
Completed: 1980
Renamed: Vector, before December 1987
Fate: Caught fire and sank after a collision with the MV Doña Paz on 20 December 1987.
General characteristics
Class and type: Oil Tanker
Tonnage: 629 grt
Length: 51.7 m (170 ft)
Beam: 11.6 m (38 ft)
Depth: 3.6 m (12 ft)
Installed power: 250 bhp
Propulsion: single screw
Notes: [1]

The Vector was a Philippine oil tanker that collided with the ferry Doña Paz on December 20, 1987 in Tablas Strait, Philippines, resulting in an estimated toll of over 4,000 lives.


MT Vector was a small motor tanker, built in Manila, Philippines in 1980 as Oil Nic-II, with a tonnage of 629 grt and length of 51.7 m (170 ft). The tanker was designed to transport petroleum products such as gasoline, kerosene and diesel. Prior to December 1987 the tanker was acquired by Vector Shipping Inc, owned by Francisco Soriano of Manila.[1]

Collision with MV Doña Paz[edit]

On 19 December 1987 at about 8:00 p.m., Vector left Limay, Bataan en route to Masbate with a crew of 13, and loaded with 8,800 barrels of petroleum products shipped by the ship's charterer, Caltex Philippines, now Chevron.[2] The following morning, at about 6:30 a.m., the passenger and cargo ferry Doña Paz left the port of Tacloban headed for Manila with a complement of 59 crew members, including the master and his officers, and passengers totaling 1,493 as indicated in the Coast Guard Clearance, though estimated to be over 4,000. Doña Paz was a passenger and cargo vessel owned and operated by Sulpicio Lines, plying the route of Manila/Tacloban/Catbalogan/Manila/Catbalogan/Tacloban/Manila.

At about 10:30 p.m. on 20 December 1987, the two vessels collided in the open sea in the vicinity of Dumali Point in Tablas Strait. between Marinduque and Oriental Mindoro. As the two vessels collided, Vector's cargo ignited and caused a fire that spilled into the water and rapidly spread to Doña Paz, which sank within hours. Vector also sank shortly afterwards. Two of the 13 crew members aboard the Vector (Franklin Bornilio and Reynaldo Taripe) survived but all 58 crew of the Doña Paz died. The official death toll on the ferry is 1,565, although some reports claim that the ferry was overcrowded and that the true death toll is over 4,000. The ships would put the death toll at 4,375 although admitting that only 1,568 were on the manifest (still more than the licensed maximum of 1,518). The 21 (or 24) survivors from the ferry had to swim, as there was no time to launch lifeboats.[3]

All the crew members and most of the passengers on Doña Paz died. Only 24 passengers survived the tragedy by swimming away as there was no time to launch lifeboats and were rescued from the burning waters by vessels that responded to distress calls.[3][4] There were two survivors from Vector's crew, who claimed that they were sleeping at the time of the incident.[5]


Vector Shipping was found liable for the crash, while the chartering company, Caltex, was absolved of responsibility. In a judgement on 24 July 2008, The Supreme Court of the Philippines absolved Caltex Philippines (now Chevron) from any liability in the collision between MV Doña Paz|Doña Paz and Vector. The decision affirmed the Court of Appeals' ruling against Vector Shipping and its owner Francisco Soriano.[6] Vector was ordered to reimburse and indemnify Sulpicio Lines Php 800,000.00. This was the total amount due the Macasa family whose kin were among the passengers of MV Doña Paz.[6] The Court ruled that "MT Vector was unseaworthy at the time of the accident and that its negligence was the cause of the collision that led to the sinking of the Sulpicio vessel."[7]

An inquiry also found that members of the crew of the Vector were underqualified and that the vessel's licence had expired.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Vector". Sea-Web (subscription required). IHS Global Ltd. Retrieved 29 March 2015. 
  2. ^ Strings of Maritime Tragedies
  3. ^ a b "Caltex Phil Inc vs Sulpicio Lines Inc : 131166 : September 30, 1999 : J. Pardo : First Division"
  4. ^ Decision, Court of Appeals, dated April 15, 1997, Rollo, pp. 54-75.
  5. ^ Vergara, Ricky; Ignacio, Bert (30 December 1987). "Doña Paz rammed tanker - survivor". Manila Standard. pp. 1, 8. Retrieved 29 March 2015. 
  6. ^ a b, SC absolves Caltex in MV Doña Paz tragedy
  7. ^ Vector Shipping Ordered to Pay Sulpicio Lines for 1987 Maritime Tragedy

External links[edit]