MV Princess of the Orient
MV Princess of the Orient was a passenger ferry owned by Sulpicio Lines that sank off Fortune Island, off Batangas province in the Philippines in September 1998.The ship was originally built in Japan as the Sunflower 11 before being sold to Sulpicio Lines.
On September 18, 1998, the 13,935-ton, 195.1-metre (640 ft) long Princess of the Orient, sailed from Manila to Cebu during a typhoon. The ship capsized at 12:55 p.m. near Fortune Island in Batangas and sank, and out of the 388 passengers on board, 150 were killed. Passengers were floating at sea for more than 12 hours before rescuers were able to reach the survivors.
The wreck is resting on her port side at 122 meters (400 ft) below sea level just outside Manila Bay. In the early 2000s, John Bennett and Ron Loos made the first scuba dives to the wreck site. The possible cause of the sinking is cargo collapse due to the cargoes not properly lashed. The shifting of the cargoes caused the ship to list to one side, causing the ferry to sink.
In 2018, a mixed gas 5 man international rebreather team organized by Karl Hurwood and Miguel Zulueta successfully managed to capture never before seen images of the wreck as well as carry out extensive exploration of it, at depths up to 128m. The team also managed successfully circumnavigate the wreck using long range DPVs ( diver propelled vehicles ) and carry out some video survey & photography. Exploration divers were: Karl Hurwood – UK Miguel Zulueta- Philippines Ali Fikree- UAE Jin Hui- China Cei Wui- China Further exploration into the cargo holds is planned for 2019.
Notes and references
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