Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Cargo Ship Sinks During Storm

Search for survivors Cebu Daily News Last updated 02:17pm (Mla time) 10/03/2007

CEBU CITY, Philippines - Four survivors of an ill-fated cargo ship from Cebu that sank off Palawan are still in shock.

They could still hear their co-workers shouting for help while being eaten alive by sharks, a police official in Palawan said.

“Sabi nung mga survivors narinig pa nilang sumisigaw yung iba habang humihingi ng tulong. Nakita daw nila na kinakain na ng mga pating yung mga kasamahan nila. Pero wala silang magawa (The survivors said they heard the others screaming while asking for help. They said they saw their fellow seamen being eaten by the sharks but there was nothing they could do),” said Senior Superintendent Dennis Peña, Palawan police director.

The four were identified as chief mate Roulette Sapallida, seaman Rey Cabuhay, oiler Marlon Tiguman and apprentice Richard Abrigona, who were rescued by passing fishing boat Alister.

The survivors are now confined at the Cuyo District Hospital in Cuyo town, Palawan.

Because of this account of the survivors, Peña said most of the 14 missing crew members of M/V Mia of JPS Shipping Lines in Cebu could already be dead.

But, he added, they have not given up hope.

Divers and rescue swimmers of the Philippine Coast Guard continued their search in the hope of finding more survivors.

The Maritime Industry Authority in Central Visayas (Marina-7) has started its investigation into the sinking of the cargo vessel about 28 nautical miles southwest off Cagayancillo, Palawan.

Mardon Martin, Marina-7 safety engineer, said the probe would determine if the shipping corporation could be liable for the incident or there was negligence on the part of the crew members.

The M/V Mia, loaded with 880 metric tons of cement, left San Fernando town in southern Cebu about 5 a.m. of September 27. It was expected to arrive in Brooke's Point, Palawan on September 29.

Based on the marine protest filed by JPS general manager Gallagher Gallarde to Marina-7, the vessel sank about 11 p.m. on September 28.

Report from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in Manila, however, said M/V Mia went under about 4 p.m. on September 29 reportedly due to bad weather.

But according to the Palawan police, the vessel overturned after the enormous waves spawned by typhoon Hanna damaged its body while it was crossing the sea off Cagayancillo about 2:40 p.m. on Sunday.

The vessel tilted to its side and the overturned, the report from the Palawan police said.

According to Gallarde in his marine protest, the JPS shipping personnel received a radio message from the M/V Mia crew members about 1 p.m. on September 28 that the cargo vessel was already 20 miles off Tubbataha Reef, off Puerto Princesa City, Palawan.

The crew members also told the shipping lines that their estimated time of arrival in Brooke's Point would be delayed by seven hours — from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. on September 29 — due to rough seas.

“This was the last radio communication from the crew of M/V Mia; hence, there was neither radio contact nor cellular phone communication from September 29, 30 and October 1 except from the fishing boat Alister at 8:10 a.m. on October 1,” according to the marine protest.

Gallarde said in the marine protest that representatives from the fishing boat informed JPS Shipping through radio on October 1 that they were able to rescue four of the 18 crew members.

The fishing boat happened to pass by and saw what happened.

The crew men of F/B Allister daringly plucked the four survivors from the rough seas, according to Peña of the Palawan police.

Peña said the Palawan police were also conducting an investigation to check into the possibility that the sunken cargo ship might be overloaded.

The sinking of M/V Mia was the second sea tragedy in Palawan in September.

Martin of Marina-7 said the Philippine Coast Guard would convene the Special Board of Marine Inquiry to look into the cause of the sinking.

Marina would also check if the vessel was seaworthy when it sailed to Brooke's Point, he added.

Martin said they would also verify if the vessel had proper life-saving equipment on board such as life-jackets and that all crew members had the proper papers.

To determine these, he said Marina officials would interview the survivors.

But Martin said there was no reason to ground the two other vessels of JPS Shipping Corp.

“If there are administrative lapses, we can impose a fine or suspend the certificate of public convenience of the shipping company”, he said.

In the meantime, the Coast Guard continues its search for missing crewmen.

Lieutenant Armand Balilo, PCG spokesperson, said the rescue team's operations were hampered by the incessant rains brought about by tropical storm “Ineng.”

“But rest assured that our search and rescue operations will not cease until we find the missing persons,” he said. /Correspondent Jhunnex Napallacan and Inquirer

Note: I have to tell you how disguested I am with the reporting of this event. 90% of the copy on this story is conflicting or just badly reported. To you reporters out there. What was the name of the storm that did the damage to this ship? Come on sheesh .....
Additional Stories...
Cebu Daily News, Philippines - 13 hours ago
CEBU CITY, Philippines - Four survivors of an ill-fated cargo ship from Cebu that sank off Palawan are still in shock. They could still hear their ...
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China Daily, China - 13 hours ago
Manila -- Fourteen crew members of a cargo ship which sank in waters off western Philippines' Palawan Island last weekend were believed to have been eaten ...
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ABS CBN News, Philippines - 14 hours ago
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International Herald Tribune, France - Oct 2, 2007
AP MANILA, Philippines: A cargo ship sank in stormy waters in the southwestern Philippines, leaving 14 crew members missing, the coast guard said Tuesday. ...
14 crew missing after cargo vessel sinks off Palawan, Philippines - Oct 1, 2007
MANILA, Philippines -- Four of the 18 crew of a cargo vessel were rescued after their ship sank off the coast of Palawan province last Sept. ...
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PUERTO PRINCESA CITY: The 14 missing officers and crew of a Cebu-based cargo vessel that sank off Palawan waters over the weekend are feared dead. ...
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Monsters and, UK - Oct 2, 2007
Manila - Fourteen crew members are missing after a cargo ship carrying cement sank in stormy seas on the weekend in the western Philippines, the coast guard ...
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Special Notes Of The Day!

October 4th is the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi!

Saint Francis of Assisi (September 26, 1181 - October 3, 1226) was a Roman Catholic friar and the founder of the Order of Friars Minor, more commonly known as the Franciscans.

He is known as the patron saint of animals, birds, and the environment, and it is customary for Catholic churches, rescues and shelters, and animal community organizations to hold ceremonies honoring animals around his feast day of October 4.


Deep Dive has a Whole New Meaning

Deep Dive has a Whole New Meaning

Posted by: Conversation Agent

Robert_ballard_ocean_explorer I love the sea and for a time had the fortune of sailing on the ocean in Newport, RI, one of the capitals of New England charm for many reasons, one of which is its people. I find that people who live close to the sea tend to have a fluid quality to them that agrees with me.

Acclaimed ocean explorer Robert Ballard made that same impression on me last night. Dr. Ballard is also professor of oceanography and currently serves as Director of the Institute for Archaeological Oceanography, at the University of Rhode Island's Graduate School of Oceanography. That is archeology of the deep sea, where the sun light never shines -- a new discipline he helped found.

Last night, he kicked off the 2007-2008 Philadelphia Speakers Series with a deep dive into the mysteries of the ocean. An explorer-in-residence of the National Geographic, Mr. Ballard discovered the Titanic or rather its wreck in 1985 while on his way to a far more secret mission since declassified. He then went on a discovery binge, finding the Bismarck, the Lusitania and other ships lost at sea, eventually going back to the RMS Titanic 19 years later with the aid of new technology, including improved robotic subs, high-definition cameras and better lighting to see the remains in much greater detail. Yes, Director James Cameron consulted with him through the making of the movie.

Dr. Ballard is about to immerse himself again in an exploration of the Aegean and Black Seas -- waterways that have served as major trade routes for centuries to discover the mysteries that lie underneath. According to the Science Daily:

Shipwrecks in the Black Sea often are remarkably well-preserved due to the waterway's chemistry. Nearly 90 percent of the Black Sea is a no-oxygen “dead zone,” where only a few bacteria live.

What did he learn about life in the depths of the ocean? The largest mountain range on earth is located underwater -- the Mid-Atlantic Ridge extends for 42,000 continuous miles with tens of thousands of active volcanoes. If you're curious as I am about this sort of thing, you will be intrigued to learn that 72% of our planet is beneath the sea and in total darkness. We live on the remaining 18%. In fact, some of Dr. Ballard's greatest discoveries do not involve ship wrecks, they are about life.

  • In 1977, while exploring in the submersible ALVIN near the Galapagos Islands (in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Ecuador), Dr. Ballard and J. F. Grassle, on Project FAMOUS, discovered giant worms (called Riftia) and other organisms living deep in the sea, beyond the depth where people though that life could be sustained. These huge worms were clustered around underwater hot springs (near ocean rifts) from which they get energy. The underwater vents substitute for the Sun's energy. The worms grow in long tubes and are over 10 feet (3 meters) long.
  • In 1979, Dr. Ballard found deep water volcanoes called "black smokers" located off the coast of Baja California in the Pacific Rise; they spew extremely hot mineral-rich water up chimneys formed by mineral deposits (it is so hot that it could melt lead).
  • The water of the earth's oceans is cycled through the earth's crust, changing its mineral composition in the process. The water goes down through cracks in the crust until it hits very hot rock where it becomes superheated and dissolves minerals from the rocks. Then it shoots upward through the vents. This explains why sea water contains the minerals it does (this was unexplained by previous theories).
  • The plates from our planet's crust are constantly ripping open and bleeding lava. Most of the earth is generated through lava force in a continuous process of genesis. This also explains the regenerative power of the earth. Our planet has a regular face lift!

Ballard More modern-day Captain Nemo than The Old Man and The Sea, after receiving a tremendous amount of mail from children about the Titanic adventure, Dr. Ballard founded the JASON Foundation for Education in 1989. The JASON project is named for Jason, the mythical Greek explorer who sailed the seas in a ship named "Argo" in order to find the golden fleece.

This project lets children learn about and follow global deep sea exploration. A Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) called Jason is sent to explore the sea down to 20,000 feet, and Jason's video signals are broadcast live via two-way satellite to students in schools and museums around the world. "All kids dream a marvelous image of what they want to do. But then society tells them they can't do it. I didn't listen. I wanted to live my dream," he said.

My favorite quote -- "If you can plan it out and it seems logical to you, then you can do it. I discovered the power of a plan."

Maritime Notes:

Life on the North Sea!