Trans Asia M/V Asia Malaysiahttp://www.flickr.com/photos/vanzent/5993155877/sizes/m/in/pool-922345@N25/
I am amazed how the world has gotten so small with information literally right at our fingertips. I think by now most people would have heard what happened to Trans Asia's M/V Malaysia, which sank off the coast of Iloilo.(I posted the news down below from Sunstar Iloilo for those who haven't.)
What's suprising is that a couple of hours later, a video pops out in Youtube showing Trans Asia M/V Asia Malaysia Listing off the coast of Ajuy, Iloilo before it sank. I don't know whether its a good thing or a bad thing that there's a video on Youtube of a vessel sinking. Well its good for the authorities and the general public that we got to SEE what really happened over and over again. A Bad thing for the company though since they will never hear the last of it from the general public who saw it.
Judging from the video, the seas looked pretty calm. What do you think happened?
ILOILO CITY -- All 147 passengers and crew of M/V Asia Malaysia of Cebu-based Trans Asia Shipping Lines Inc. were rescued after the vessel listed to its right side due to strong winds and choppy waters in the central Philippines.
Among the survivors was a 10-month-old baby and 70-year-old Eufemia Abonales, the youngest and oldest, respectively, of the 107 passengers.
Commodore Athelo Ybañez, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Western Visayas District Commander, told Sun.Star the ship left Cebu City at 6 p.m. Saturday and was scheduled to arrive in Iloilo City at 7 a.m. Sunday.
Around 5 a.m. Sunday, Ybañez said ship captain Romualdo Gualdizo sent distress calls after big waves and strong winds hit the 2,400-ton vessel while cruising the vicinity of Calabasa Island off the coast of Ajuy town, Iloilo, or about 33 nautical miles from Iloilo City.
Ybañez said first to be alerted was the Coast Guard station in Bacolod City. In minutes, more distress calls came as passengers managed to inform relatives by phone and text messages. Even Iloilo City-based radio stations received pleas for rescue.
"Immediately, rescue was launched with vessels nearby helping as well," he said.
First to arrive at the scene of incident was Cokaliong Shipping Lines's M/V Filipinas Cebu that was also en route to Iloilo City. Next to respond was motor tanker M/T Fil-Visayas bound for Bacolod. Fishermen in the vicinity also rushed to help.
The area where the M/V Asia Malaysia sank is four nautical miles away from the nearest coast.
Ybañez further sought assistance of Bantay-Dagat patrol boats of the Iloilo Provincial Government as a Coast Guard helicopter and vessel were also ordered to proceed in the scene.
“At about 6 a.m., an order to abandon ship was made by the Captain with all of the passengers given life-jackets and transfer made to responding rescue vessels. The Ship Captain and nine other senior crew members stayed behind and were the last to abandon ship. By 8 a.m. we have gathered that a full rescue was made and by 8:50 a.m., the vessel has totally sank,” Ybañez said.
The coast guard official said the vessel started to tilt to its side after being hit by big waves. Passengers said they heard a loud sound before the ship tilted around 30 degrees to its right side, or starboard side.
CEBU. The Philippines Coast Guard rescued more than 140 people who were onboard M/V Asia Malaysia that sank off the coast of Iloilo Sunday morning. (Courtesy of Transasia)
Ybañez said the sound could be caused by the cargoes. He said the lashing of the cargoes could have snapped causing all the cargoes to stay on the starboard side. By then M/V Asia Malaysia failed to recover its position as sea water slowly got into the vessel.
At the time of the incident, the vessel was carrying 107 passengers, way below its 551 capacity.
M/V Asia Malaysia was acquired by Trans-Asia Shipping Lines in 1997 and served Cebu-Iloilo vice versa route. It was 71.6 meters in length with a 551 capacity. It was to be the first and last maritime incident for said vessel off to Sunday's "Voyage 89."
The Philippine Coast Guard will convene a Special Board of Marine Inquiry to investigate the cause of the incident, validate liability, if any, of the ship captain, officers and crew on board. The investigation will look into corrective measure to avert similar incidents in the future.
Captain Pedro Tinampay, Coast Guard Western Visayas deputy commander, will head the probe body with three other Coast Guard officers as members.
Ybañez said the captain and the crew are en route to Iloilo for the initial investigation and their account of the incident.
Radio accounts of survivors heard similar stories of fear in the last minutes on board the vessel yet "don't panic" pleas were made from both crew members and their fellow passengers.
Some survivors had difficulty wearing the lifejacket given to them.
"Indi kami kabalo magtakod dala na sang nerbyos namon. Ginbuligan lang kami sang crew kag buligay man kami nga mga pasahero (We didn’t know how to put it on because of our nervousness. The crew helped us and fellow passengers)," a survivor bound for San Joaquin, Iloilo said.
The PCG sought the assistance of the local Red Cross chapter in Iloilo to treat some injured passengers.
Survivors were a mixed group of Ilonggos, Cebuanos and included residents of Antique province. (Sunnex)
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