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Saturday, 19 September, 1998, 14:09 GMT
The Philippines: A record of shipping disasters

Rough weather and overcrowded ferries are often blamed for ferry disasters


The Philippines has a history of shipping disasters, but its record had been improving until the Princess of the Orient sank.

The sinking of the 13,935-ton MV Princess of the Orient near Manila could prove to be the worst shipping disaster the country has seen for several years.

Recent maritime disasters in the Philippines:

  • 1987 - Ferry Dona Paz collides with an oil tanker off the island of Mindoro. More than 4,000 are killed in what is described as the world's worst peacetime maritime tragedy.


  • Empty life rafts near where the Princess of the Orient sank
  • 1988 - Ferry Dona Marylin , sister ship of the Dona Paz, sinks off the central province of Leyte, killing 300.

  • 1993 - 279 pilgrims drowned when a floating pagoda collapsed during a religious festival as it was being towed along the Bocaue river, north of Manila.

  • 1994 - Ferry Cebu City collides with Singaporean tanker off Manila Bay, leaving more than 140 dead or missing.

  • 1995 - Fire breaks out aboard ferry Kimelody Cristy, 31 dead.

  • 1996 - Fifty killed in sinking of Ferry Gretchen I in the central Philippines.

    Recent disasters around the world:

  • 1998 - Guinea-Bissau: About 200 drowned as they fled fighting in the West African state.

  • 1997 - Haiti - Between 300 and 400 were believed to have died when a packed ferry sank off Haiti's west coast.

  • 1997 - Nigeria - The passenger ferry Olodiama collided with a tugboat with at least 130 presumed drowned.

  • 1996 - Tanzania - The Tanzanian ferry MV Bukoba capsized on Lake Victoria with up to 1,000 estimated to have died.

  • 1996 - Indonesia - Up to 338 believed dead after the passenger ferry Gurita sank in heavy seas.

  • 1994 - Baltic Sea - 852 drowned when the ferry Estonia sank about 20 miles from the Finnish island of Utoe, en route from Tallinn to Stockholm.

  • 1993 - Haiti - The passenger ferry Neptune sank west of Port-au-Prince with several hundred drowned.
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