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Major marine mishaps in the Philippines

June 23, 2008 7:48pm
The worst marine mishap in recent Philippine history is M/V Doña Paz vs. MT Vector collision on December 20, 1987. The incident occurred at the Tablas Strait between Marinduque and Mindoro. The official death toll is pegged at 1,856 people, although there have been news reports citing as many as 4,000 killed. The official death toll for this one incident alone makes up more than half of the total number of persons killed in all the major marine mishaps. The International Maritime Organization also calls this the "world’s greatest maritime tragedy."

The M/T Solar I sinking on August 11, 2006 brought about the Guimaras oil spill. Three months later, a barge carrying debris from the oil spill site sank in Misamis Occidental.

List of past marine accidents recorded by the Board of Marine Inquiry
Vessel(s) Nature 
of Mishap
Location Date Dead Missing Survivors
M/V Filnor IX sinking Coron, Palawan 14-Feb-1980 1    
M/V Don Juan vs. M/V Tacloban City collision Maestro de Campo 22-Apr-1980 18 115 745
M/V Juan burning vicinity of Cavite City 7-Jul-1981 52    
LC-1702 towed by MT MASBATE sinking Ilin Island, Mindoro 29-Nov-1981   3  
M/V Doña Susana sinking Plaridel 7-Mar-1982   16 4
M/V Sweet Name vs. MT Capiz City collision Shell Island 8-Mar-1983 1    
MB Rommel sinking  Sta. Ana, Cagayan 24-May-1983 3 28 44
LCT Batasan capsizing Arangasa Island 1-Sep-1984 15    
M/V Venus sinking  Vicinity of Sibuyan Sea 28-Oct-1984 34   219
M/V Marcos Faberes sinking Balintang Channel, Batanes 14-Oct-1985 8 8  
M/V Central Leyte sinking vicinity of Brunei 3-Dec-1985 1    
M/V Asuncion V sinking Cape Calante, Mindoro 18-Dec-1985 11 115  
M/V Doña Josefina sinking Isabel, Leyte 24-Apr-1986 34 61  
M/V Beatriz sinking San Isidro, Pacijan Island 1-Aug-1986 11 28 101
MT MAYSUN sinking Matalinoc Pt. Negros Occidental 16-Aug-1986   2  
M/V Doña Paz vs. MT Vector collision Tablas Strait between Marinduque and Mindoro 20-Dec-1987 BMI's official tally pegs the number of casualties at 1,800+; however, unofficial reports cite as much as 4,000+ deaths   26
M/V Doña Marilyn sinking between Tanguingui Island and Manok Manok Island
(while en route from Manila to Tacloban, Leyte)
24-Oct-1988 77 2 300
M/V Lorcon V sinking Pola Bay 10-Mar-1989   2  
M/V Central Bohol sinking Canayan Island 26-Jul-1990   some crew members missing   
FB Toroshita sinking Semirara Island, Antique 28-Mar-1991 5 18 15
M/V Emerald I sinking Matuco Pt.  17-Jul-1991 3 2 81
M/V Amie V sinking Quinolaban Island 22-Dec-1991   all crew missing  
M/V Cebu City vs. M/V Kota Suria collision Manila Bay 2-Dec-1994 73 41 525
M/V Viva Antipolo VII burning/ sinking vicinity of Dalahican Fishport, Lucena 16-May-1995 62 10 142
M/V Kimelody Cristy burning 5 miles off Fortune Island 13-Dec-1995 17 13 100
ML Gretchen I grounding Cadiz City 18-Feb-1996 51   145
F/B King Roger capsizing Manila Bay, South Harbor, Manila 15-Aug-1997 7   41
M/V Kalibo Star sinking vicinity of Tincasan Pt. between Maripipi and Biliran Island 15-Aug-1997 12 13 66
M/V Princess of the Orient sinking vicinity of Fortune Island, Batangas 18-Sep-1998 70 80 355
M/T Mary Anne sinking vicinity of Munga Lighthouse, Bataan 22-Jul-1999   1  
M/V Asia South Korea sinking Bantayan, Cebu 23-Dec-1999 58   699
M/L Annahada sinking vicinity of Jolo Pier, Jolo, Sulu 12-Apr-2000 138    
M/V ACX Lilac vs. Barge Cargolift III collision Manila Bay 2-Sep-2000   4 2
M/B Island Service Boat-II vs F/B Dondon Gulf collision Hagnaya, Cebu 22-Dec-2001 10   69
M/V Maria Carmela burning vicinity of Pagbilao, Quezon 11-Apr-2002 39 6 83
M/B Nilode-A capsizing/ sinking vicinity of Brgy. Antipolo, Naval, Maripipi, Biliran, Samar 11-May-2002 19   79
M/V Mahlia sinking vicinity of Northeast Amani, Kagoshima, Japan 24-Feb-2003   7 1
M/V Super Ferry 12 vs. M/V San Nicolas  collision vicinity of Limbones Island 25-May-2003 43 21 182
M/V Super Ferry 14 burning/ fire on board El Fraile near Corregidor, Bataan 27-Feb-2004 94 24 781
M/V Doña Ramona fire on board vicinity of Kulaybato Wharf, Brgy. Kulaybato, Lamitan, Basilan 28-Aug-2005 1   29
M/V Princess of the World fire on board vicinity of Dulongin Pt., Zamboanga Peninsula 7-Jul-2005 none   200+
M/T Solar I sinking vicinity of Guimaras Island 11-Aug-2006   2 16

Past marine accidents mentioned in the news and/or recorded by DSWD/NDCC

M/B Sunjay
  • capsized on January 15, 2006
  • San Ricardo, Southern Leyte
  • 16 dead, 12 injured, 4 missing; 252 survived
  • the banca was participating in a fluvial parade to celebrate a fiesta in honor of the patron saint, Sr. Sto. Niño

Barge Ras (towed by Tugboat Vega)
  • sank on November 20, 2006
  • 5 kms northeast of Plaridel, Misamis Occidental
  • the barge was carrying debris recovered in the oil spill cleanup in Guimaras Island when it sank due to rough seas
  • no casualties

M/B Leonida II
  • sank on November 25, 2006
  • vicinity of Bisilan Point, Hinatuan Island, Surigao City
  • 19 dead; 66 survivors
  • among those killed was Del Carmen, Surigao del Norte Mayor Arlencita Navarro, whose body was found nearly a week after the accident

M/V Catalyn-D

  • caught fire on board on June 10, 2007
  • Pantocomi Point, Palauan Bay, Mindoro
  • 5 dead; 283 survivors

M/V Blue Water Princess I
  • ran aground and eventually sank on July 12, 2007
  • near the coast of San Francisco, Quezon
  • 11 dead; 120+ survivors
  • the accident occurred as Typhoon Bebeng passed through the country

M/V Don Wilfredo
  • sank on February 14, 2008
  • near the shores of Barangay Buhang, Bulusan, Sorsogon
  • 1 dead; 17 survivors

Sources: Board of Marine Inquiry, Philippine Coast Guard, DSWD, NDCC, GMA News, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Sunstar
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