Captain and Third Mate Killed as Ferries Collide in the Philippines
The Philippine Coast Guard is reporting that the captain and third mate on a small passenger ferry were killed during a collision with a fast water taxi at midday on January 31. The smaller boat was heading inbound to Batangas, a city in the west of the Philippines south of Manila, when the collision occurred with an outbound passenger vessel.
The high speed ferry, Ocean Jet 6, was carrying 105 passengers and 19 crew. It had departed Batangas bound for Calapan on the neighboring island of Mindoro. There were no reported injuries aboard the vessel and it was permitted to proceed to Calapan.
Ocean Jet operates a fleet of high speed ferries in the Philippines (Ocean Jet file photo)
Officials were investigating the circumstances of the accident reporting only that the smaller, slow ferry was stuck and showing extensive damage with the front of the ferry apparently ripped open. It remained afloat and was being towed to Puerto Galera. Images of the scene appeared to be gray, possibly misty or foggy weather, and a low chop on the seas.
At the time of the collision, there were five foreign passengers aboard the Hop & Go 1 ferry which was sailing to Puerto Galera, also across the strait on Mindoro. Two Chinese passengers were reported injured and receiving medical treatment while two other passengers were uninjured. A Swedish passenger was returning home the report said.
The vessel had four crewmembers aboard. The captain and third mate were killed in the collision. Two other Filippino crew members were taken to the Coast Guard station and were giving sworn statements. They were reported to be cooperating with the Coast Guard as it was investigating the cause of the collision.