“A ferry carrying about 700 passengers collides with ship in Philippines” was the headline flashed around the media this morning.
The ferry, the 1973-built MV ST. THOMAS OF AQUINAS (ex SUPERFERRY 2 — no image of the vessel is in the MaritimeMatters library as of yet), with 692 passengers on board, collided with an as-yet-unidentified cargo ship near the city of Cebu Friday evening, central Philippines local time.
The Coast Guard reported that the MV ST. THOMAS OF AQUINAS began listing and its captain ordered the ship be abandoned. Two Coast Guard vessels are on scene and other ferries appear to be assisting in the rescue, including a ferry from the Lite Shipping Corporation and the ferry ST POPE JOHN PAUL II.
Reports are now coming in that the ST. THOMAS OF AQUINAS has indeed sunk, and 5 people are reported dead. Story to be updated.
Update: August 17,2013
Coast guard figures state that the ferry, MV ST. THOMAS OF AQUINAS was carrying 715 passengers and 116 crew at the time of the collision, 31 are confirmed dead while 170 are still missing. The cargo ship, SULPICIO EXPRESS 7 sustained serious bow damage in the crash, but remained afloat.