SuperFerry 9 was a ferry boat owned by Filipino shipping company, Aboitiz Transport System Corporation and operated by their SuperFerry Division. On September 6, 2009, it capsized off the southern Zamboanga Peninsula with a total of 847 passengers and 112 crew aboard. Built in 1986, the 7,268 ton ship was named the Ariake when it was launched in Japan. It was renamed SuperFerry 9 in 1996.
SuperFerry 9 left General Santos City bound for Iloilo on September 6, 2009. According to reports, between 3:00 and 4:00 a.m., the captain of the ferry, Jose Yap, sent a distress signal that the ship was listing to the starboard side. An hour later, the captain ordered the passengers to abandon ship. Around 10 a.m., authorities announced that SuperFerry 9 sank in the vicinity of Batarompon Point, west of Zamboanga Peninsula.
Prior to its sinking, SuperFerry 9 had encountered several mishaps. In 2006, the ship experienced engine problems that caused passengers to be delayed a day and a half at sea while on a trip from Bacolod City to Manila. In 2007, the ferry encountered engine problems that stranded it at Negros Island while on its way to Iligan City from Bacolod City. The ferry had to be towed back to port because of this mechanical failure. In 2009, the ship suffered yet again from engine problems that caused 900 passengers to be stranded off Camiguin.
Survivors and recovered bodies
Nine people were killed after SuperFerry 9 sank off the Zamboanga Peninsula, according to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG). Three of the nine fatalities were identified as two-year-old James Patrick Calero, 23-year old Carina Ampere, and 45-year old Fernando Estrada. Meanwhile, three male and three female victims remain unidentified. The PCG also said that 957 passengers from the ferry have been rescued by different sea vessels. Survivors from the ferry started heading for Iloilo, Bacolod and Manila on Monday aboard SuperFerry 1 and 5, said the Aboitiz Transport System Corporation. The SuperFerry management has joined forces with government agencies in the rescue and retrieval efforts.
The Coast Guard is still uncertain of the cause of the tragedy but the angle of cargo overloading has been overruled. The Board of Marine Inquiry will investigate the accident and will look into engine failure and bad weather as the primary causes for the accident.
SuperFerry operations push through in the meantime pending receipt of the Maritime Industry Authority's (Marina) show cause order, which suspends its 10 passenger and cargo vessels from sailing.
- “Survivors of Superferry Tragedy Head Home” Gmanews.tv (Accessed 8 September 2009)
- “Ship tilts off Zamboanga...” Gmanews.tv (Accessed 8 September 2009)
- “Ferry survivor found...” Thepoc.net (Accessed 8 September 2009)
- “SuperFerry 9 no stranger to danger” Gmanews.tv (Accessed 8 September 2009)
- “9 dead in SuperFerry sinking: PCG” Abs-cbnnews.com (Accessed 8 September 2009)
- “SuperFerry 'business as usual'...” Abs-cbnnews.com (Accessed 8 September 2009)