List of maritime disasters in the Philippines

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Below is a list of the most notable deadliest maritime incidents or tragedies in the Philippines.

List of maritime incidents[edit]

Maritime Vessel Shipping line1 Incident Deaths1 Missing1 Survivors1 Remarks
Date Fate
"Baby Princess" (Philippine fishing boat)[1] June 12, 1970[1] Capsized in a violent storm 300 miles southwest of Manila[1] 22 (devoured by sharks)[1] 22[1]
MV Don Juan Negros Navigation April 22, 1980 Sank after collision with a small oil tanker, MT Tacloban City 176[2][3] Unknown 888[2][3] MV Don Juan was a luxury liner that is bound to Bacolod City. At the 10:30 p.m. (PST) on April 22, 1980, it collided with an oil tanker, MT Tacloban, off Tablas Strait in Mindoro.[4] 15 minutes later, the vessel sank at a depth of 1,800 feet.[5] The vessel was carrying 1,004 passengers, but it was only cleared to carry 864 persons – including its crew.[6]
Doña Paz at Tacloban.jpg
MV Doña Paz
Sulpicio Lines December 20, 1987 Caught fire and sank after a collision with an oil tanker, MT Vector 4,3412[7] Unknown2 24[8] On December 20, 1987, at 6:30 a.m. (PST), MV Doña Paz left from Tacloban City, Leyte, for the City of Manila, with a stopover at Catbalogan City, Samar. On December 20, 1987, at 10:30 p.m. (PST), the passenger vessel collided with a motor tanker, MT Vector, near Dumali Point between the provinces of Marinduque and Oriental Mindoro.[9] The vessel's manifest only listed 1,493 passengers and a 53-member crew, but survivor accounts that the vessel was carrying more than 4,000 passengers. The incident was the worst peacetime disaster and the worst in the 20th century,[8] and the vessel was even named the Asia's Titanic.[10]
MT Vector Vector Shipping Caught fire and sank after a collision with a passenger vessel, MV Doña Paz 11 0 2
MV Doña Marilyn Sulpicio Lines October 24, 1988 Sank after caught by Typhoon Unsang 389 2 300 In the afternoon of October 24, 1988, while sailing from Manila to Tacloban City, the vessel was caught up in Typhoon Unsang and sank.[11] It was the sister ship of MV Doña Paz.
MV Cebu City William Shipping Company December 2, 1994 Sank after collision with an oil tanker, MV Kota Suria 73 41 525 Collided with Singaporean oil tanker, MV Kota Suria, off Manila Bay.[12] The oil tanker only had a dent in its bow.[13]
MV Kota Suria Singapore Pacific Int’l Line Ltd. Did not sink 0 0 Unknown
MV Viva Antipolo VII Viva Shipping Inc. May 16, 1995 Sank after the vessel caught fire 62 10 142 Caught fire within the vicinity of Dalahican Fish Port, Lucena.[14]
MV Kimelody Cristy Moreta Shipping Lines December 13, 1995 Sank after the vessel caught fire 24 13 100 At 2:00 a.m. (PST) on December 13, 1995, caught fire and sank off Fortune Island, Nasugbu, Batangas.[15]
ML Gretchen I Noe and Clarita Quiamco February 18, 1996 Sank 51 Unknown 145 Sank after being battered by strong winds and sank near Cadiz City. The old wooden ferry, according to the investigation, was not seaworthy and was carrying more than its allowed capacity. It was also eight hours late to dock in the Port of Cadiz.[16] The Philippine Coast Guard had failed to respond to the incident since the ferry has no radio on board.[17]
ROPAX Sunflower11.jpg
MV Princess of the Orient
Sulpicio Lines September 18, 1998 Sank 70 80 355 On September 18, 1998, the 13,935-ton, 915-metre (3,002 ft) long MV Princess of the Orient, sailed from Manila to Cebu during a typhoon. The ship capsized at 12:55 p.m. (PST) near Fortune Island in Batangas.[18]
MV Asia South Korea Trans-Asia Shipping Lines December 23, 1999 Sank after collision with a rock 58 0 699 The vessel en route to Iloilo City from Cebu City when it rock formations off Bantayan Island. The collision created a hole in its hull causing its sinking.[19]
MV Maria Carmela Montenegro Shipping Lines April 11, 2002 Sank after the vessel caught fire 39 6 371 Fire broke out in the cargo hold of the vessel around 7:30 a.m. (PST).[20] The vessel was burning for three days until it sank in Pagbilao Island, near Quezon.[21]
MV San Nicolas San Nicholas Shipping Line May 25, 2003 Sank after collision with SuperFerry 12 43 21 182 The collision happened at 11:45 a.m. (PST) near Limobones Point, Corregidor. MV San Nicholas was heading for Manila, while Superferry 12 was sailing for Cebu.[22]
SuperFerry 12 Aboitiz Did not sink 0 0 1,700[23] The ferry was not heavily damaged and was still in service until the ferry caught fire at Cebu in March 2006.[24]
SuperFerry 14 Aboitiz February 27, 2004 Sank after bombed by Abu Sayyaf terrorists 94 24 781 On the night of the 27th of February, the ferry sailed out of Manila for Cagayan de Oro City via Bacolod City and Iloilo City with 899 recorded passengers and crew aboard.[25] An hour after its 11 p.m. sailing, just off either El Fraile or Corregidor Island an explosion tore through the vessel, starting a fire that engulfed the ship which caused the deaths of some of the passengers.[26] A television set containing a 3.6-kilogram (8-pound) TNT bomb had been placed on board in the lower, more crowded decks.[27] It was the Philippines' deadliest terrorist attack and the world's deadliest terrorist attack at sea.[28][29]
Princess of the Stars August 2008.jpg
MV Princess of the Stars
Sulpicio Lines June 21, 2008 Capsized 437 605 32 MV Princess of the Stars capsized off the coast of San Fernando, Romblon at the height of Typhoon Frank. The ferry left Manila en route to Cebu City. Although Typhoon Frank, had made landfall at Samar Island earlier the same day, the Princess of the Stars was permitted to sail because the vessel was large enough to stay afloat in the typhoon's periphery. However, Frank unexpectedly changed course later that day, placing the ferry in serious danger of being overwhelmed by the storm.[30] According to an account given by four survivors, who managed to swim to nearby Sibuyan Island, the Princess of the Stars had not malfunctioned, but ran into rough seas off the coast of Romblon.[31]
MBca Don Dexter Unknown November 4, 2008 Capsized 42 10 105 Motor banca Don Dexter capsized near Macaraguit Island, Dimasalang, Masbate after its outrigger broke.
MBca Jen-Mar Unknown December 14, 2008 Capsized 47 30 45 Motor banca Jen-Mar capsized near the vicinity of Linao, Aparri, Cagayan after its outrigger broke. The motor banca was carrying passengers in excess of its allowed capacity, and bad weather condition which was a contributory cause of its capsizing.
MV St. Thomas Aquinas 2Go August 16, 2013 Sank after collision with a cargo ship, MV Sulpicio Express Siete 114[32] 23[32] 750[33] On 16 August 2013, MV St. Thomas Aquinas departed from Nasipit, Agusan del Norte, on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao. At approximately 9:00 p.m. (PST), it was heading into the port at Cebu City via the Cebu Strait when it collided with MV Sulpicio Express Siete, a cargo ship owned by the Philippine Span Asia Carrier Corporation that was leaving port, approximately 1.2 miles (1.9 km) from Talisay, Cebu.[34] The vessel immediately began to take on water, prompting the captain to order the ship abandoned.[35] The crew hurriedly handed out life jackets as hundreds of passengers jumped overboard. Within 30 minutes, the ship had sunk. At the time of the collision, St. Thomas Aquinas was carrying 715 passengers (58 were infants) and 116 crew members. Many passengers were asleep at the time or otherwise had trouble finding their way to the deck in the dark.[34]
MV Sulpicio Express Siete Philippine Span Asia Carrier Corporation Damaged; did not sink[34] 0[34] 0[34] 36[34] The Sulpicio Express Siete, which did not sink, has 36 crew members on board.[34]
  1. a b c d Data are based from the records of the Board of Marine Inquiry of the Philippine Coast Guard, unless taken and supported from other references.
  2. a b The death toll of 4,341 was only an estimate, which also includes the missing.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Encyclopædia Britannica Book of the Year (1971). Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. 1971. 
  2. ^ a b Atty. Salvilla, Rex S. (April 19, 2006). "The Sinking of MV Don Juan (5)". The News Today. Retrieved August 19, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Vidal, Alex P. (April 19, 2013). "Don Juan tragedy: 33 years ago". The Daily Guardian. Archived from the original on 2013-11-26. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  4. ^ "G.R. No. 110398 - Negros Navigation vs The Court of Appeals, Ramon Miranda, SPS. Ricardo, and Virginia dela Victoria". Supreme Court of the Philippines. November 7, 1997. Retrieved August 19, 2013. 
  5. ^ Atty. Salvilla, Rex S. (April 3, 2006). "The Sinking of MV Don Juan (1)". The News of Today. Retrieved August 19, 2013. 
  6. ^ "G.R. No. 88052 - The Macenas' and Javier vs The Court of Appeals, Capt. Sebastian, and Negros Navigation". Arellano Law Foundation. December 14, 1989. Retrieved August 19, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Hundreds Missing After Sinking Of Ferry in a Philippine Storm". The New York Times. September 19, 1998. Retrieved August 19, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Gabieta, Joey A. (December 20, 2012). "Doña Paz victims waiting for justice 25 years after". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved August 19, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Caltex Philippines versus Sulpicio Lines - G.R. No. 131166". Supreme Court of the Philippines. Arellano Law Foundation. September 30, 1999. Retrieved August 19, 2013. 
  10. ^ "25 years after the sinking of MV Doña Paz, GMA News TV airs 'Asia's Titanic'". GMA News. December 5, 2012. Retrieved August 19, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Killer on the loose". Manila Standard Today. August 19, 2013. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  12. ^ "NEWS CAPSULES". Deseret News. December 4, 1994. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  13. ^ "At Least 17 Die as Ferry Sinks In Manila Bay With 573 Aboard". The New York Times. December 2, 1994. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  14. ^ Guidaben, Agatha (July 3, 2008). "Negligence killed hundreds in past sea mishaps - BMI". GMA News. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  15. ^ "G.R. No. 143888 - Ombudsman vs Victoria-Bañas". Chan-Robles Law Library. September 6, 2000. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  16. ^ Tangbawan, Romy (February 20, 1996). "Capsized ferry hit heavy waves because it was eight hours late". Associated Press. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Week of March 22, 1996". Asiaweek. 'CNN. March 22, 1996. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  18. ^ Victoria, Eliza (June 25, 2010). "Whatever happened to … Wreck done by 'Princess'". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on August 19, 2013. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  19. ^ Burgos, Nestor P. Jr. (July 19, 2013). "The 1999 sinking of MV Asia South Korea". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Philippine ferry fire kills 23". CNN. April 11, 2002. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  21. ^ "MV Carmela Ferry Tragedy: Heads roll at Coast Guard, BFP". The Philippine Star. May 11, 2002. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  22. ^ Aravilla, Jose (May 26, 2003). "23 dead, 198 rescued in ferry-boat collision". The Philippine Star. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Vessel Loss Dispatches For December 2003". The Law Offices of Countryman & McDaniel". Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Ship catches fire off Cebu". The Philippine Star. March 10, 2006. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Divers recover body parts from ferry disaster". The Sydney Morning Herald. March 7, 2004. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  26. ^ Elegant, Simon (August 23, 2004). "The Return of Abu Sayyaf". Time. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  27. ^ "Superferry Bombing, February 27, 2004". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  28. ^ Marshall, Andrew (November 25, 2008). "Surge in piracy raises concerns over maritime terrorism". The New York Times. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  29. ^ "The other war against terror ... at $8 a day". The Sydney Morning Herald. July 20, 2005. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  30. ^ "28 Philippines ferry survivors found: report". Yahoo! News. June 22, 2008. Archived from the original on June 26, 2008. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  31. ^ "Sunken ferry abandoned at noon Saturday, say filipino survivors". Xinhua News Agency. June 22, 2008. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  32. ^ a b "Death toll in Cebu sea mishap now at 114". ABS-CBN News. September 7, 2013. Retrieved September 7, 2013. 
  33. ^ De Jesus, Julliane Love (August 22, 2013). "Death toll from Cebu ferry accident rises to 75". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved August 22, 2013. 
  34. ^ a b c d e f g "Philippines ferry Thomas Aquinas sinks, many missing". BBC News. August 17, 2013. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  35. ^ "At least 28 dead, more than 200 missing after ferry sinks in Philippines". Associated Press. Fox News. August 17, 2013. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 

External links[edit]