All 120 Passengers and Crew Rescued Safely as Philippine Ferry Engulfed in Flames.
In a successful rescue operation, all 120 passengers and crew members aboard the M/V Esperanza Star ferry were safely evacuated. A fire was broke out during their journey from Siquijor to Bohol in the central Philippines.
The Philippine coast guard swiftly responded, deploying two vessels to aid in the rescue and firefighting efforts that lasted over five hours.Dramatic images and footage released by the coast guard depict thick black smoke and fierce flames engulfing two decks of the ferry.
Another vessel, along with a fishing boat, was in close proximity. While coast guard personnel employed a water cannon to extinguish the blaze.
Coast guard spokeswoman Joy Gumatay confirmed that all individuals aboard the ferry were unharmed. Though no further details were provided. The survivors were transported to Tagbilaran, a port city in Bohol province. Meanwhile an investigation into the incident is underway.
The Philippines frequently witnesses sea accidents due to adverse weather conditions. Inadequate maintenance of vessels, overcrowding, and lax enforcement of safety regulations, particularly in remote areas. The recent incident serves as a reminder of the ongoing challenges faced by maritime transportation in the region.
Previously, in March, a ferry carrying approximately 250 individuals caught fire off Basila. Resulting in the tragic loss of at least 31 lives. The fire raged throughout the night, highlighting the urgency for improved safety measures.
The country’s worst peacetime maritime disaster occurred in December 1987. The ferry Dona Paz collided with a fuel tanker, claiming the lives of over 4,300 people. These incidents underscore the importance of vigilance and continuous efforts to enhance safety protocols within the Philippine archipelago’s maritime industry.