June 2, 2018

A Bump In The Night

The MV Doña Paz was a Philippine-registered passenger ferry that sank after a tragic collision with an oil tanker on the 20th of December, 1987...the ferry was traveling to Manila and it was overcrowded...with over 2,000 people onboard who were not listed on the ship’s manifest according to reports...also, it was said that the ship had no radio and that the life-jackets were for some reason locked away...the death toll was estimated at 4,386 and just 24 survived...it remains the deadliest peacetime maritime disaster in history...the Doña Paz was built in Japan in 1963 and was originally named Himeyuri Maru..it had a passenger capacity of just over 600...in 1975, the ship was sold to a Filipino company that was an operator of a fleet of passenger ferries...it eventually was renamed Doña Paz and refurbishment after a fire increased the size of the number of passengers to about 1200...a survivor of the disaster said that the weather at sea that night was clear, but that the sea was choppy...most of the passengers were sleeping when the ship collided with the MT Vector, which was an oil tanker carrying 8800 barrels of oil, and also other petroleum products...the tanker was owned by CalTex...
when they collided, the flammable cargo ignited and caused a fire on the ship that spread onto the Doña Paz...lucky survivors remembered sensing a thumping crash and an explosion, which created widespread panic among those onboard...it was said that the lights onboard had gone out just minutes after the collision, and that there were no life vests could be located on Doña Paz...it was claimed that all of the crewmen were running around in panic...no one gave orders or tried to organize the passengers...survivors were forced to jump off the ship and swim among the corpses and charred bodies in the flaming waters thick with oil that encircled the ship...the  Doña Paz sank within two hours of the collision...the Vector managed to stay afloat for about four hours...a ship came to help but only 26 survivors were rescued from the water...no members of the Doña Paz crew survived, of which only five were listed on the manifest...only one inexperienced member of the crew of Doña Paz was watching from the bridge when the accident occurred, meanwhile other officers were relaxing in the crew's recreation quarters and the captain was in his cabin...yet, the full blame was placed on the tanker...which among other things was operating without a license, a lookout, or a qualified master...the boat was also found to be unseaworthy...all kinds of paranormal activity has been reported in the area of the wreck, as one might expect.

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