A remarkable 931 people are now said to have been rescued from the Philippine SuperFerry 9 which sank off the Zamboanga peninsula about 500 miles south of Manila. Of the ship’s 851 passengers and 117 crew, nine are known to have died.
The vessel had begun listing during the night, but the captain seems to have managed an orderly evacuation using life rafts before she went down, and, fortunately, there were a number of other naval and merchant vessels in the area to pick up the survivors.
It was an altogether happier outcome than the sinking of another Philippines ferry, the Dona Paz, in 1987 in which up to 4,375 people were drowned (see my blog of August 7th), making it the world’s worst peacetime shipwreck.
The islands have suffered a number of other major maritime disasters, such as the loss of the Dona Paz's sister ship, the Dona Marilyn, in 1988, which cost up to 300 lives, and the wreck of the Princess of the Stars ferry which capsized during a typhoon in 2008 at the cost of 800 lives.