First batch of Ilonggo survivors arrive in Iloilo port
The first batch of Ilonggo survivors in the SuperFerry 9 tragedy arrived in Iloilo City around 10 a.m. yesterday on board the fastcraft SuperCat 25, a sister vessel of SuperFerry 9, from Bacolod City.
The initial 49 Ilonggo survivors were carried by SuperFerry 5 from Zamboanga City which arrived in Bacolod City around 5:30 a.m. yesterday.
As of yesterday afternoon it was not yet clear on how many of the total passengers of SuperFerry 9 which sank off the Zamboanga Peninsula last Sunday were Ilonggos or were bound for Iloilo. The ill-fated vessel came from Gen. Santos City and was bound for Iloilo and Manila ports.
A SuperFerry shuttle van fetched the 49 survivors upon arrival at the Muelle Loney wharf where they were immediately brought to the SuperFerry office in Fort San Pedro pier for proper documentation and processing of their papers before they could be discharged.
Three survivors including two-months old Raymond Tirado were brought to West Visayas State University Medical Center after arriving at the SuperFerry office to be given medical attention.
It was learned that a casualty, in the person of Emilia Goldeyo, a punong barangay of Brgy. Cagamutan Norte, Leganes, Iloilo was left in Bacolod City and is awaiting transfer to Iloilo City.
SuperFerry has arranged for all required assistance such as medical, hotel accommodations, clothing, food and transport needs for the rescued passengers and crew.
It was learned that SuperFerry 5 carrying 122 rescued passengers bound for Manila departed from Bacolod at 11 a.m. yesterday and is estimated to arrive in Manila today, 8:30 a.m..
Bombo Radyo Iloilo reported that Joel Ibañez, area manager of WG&A in Western Visayas, said the 49 Ilonggo survivors will be given a financial assistance of P11,000 each.
Ibañez said the financial assistance represents P5,000 for the passenger’s missing baggages while the P6,000 represents the passenger’s compensation.
Bombo Radyo Iloilo, however, reported that some survivors refused to receive the financial assistance for fear that they could no longer get their claims.
Around 5:30 a.m. today another batch of rescued passengers arrives in Iloilo port on board SuperFerry 1 from Zamboanga. SuperFerry 1 carries 119 rescued passengers, 63 of whom are bound for Manila.
SuperFerry 9 was carrying 847 passengers, 117 crew members and 4 sea marshals for a total of 968 persons on board.
SuperFerry 9 issued a distress signal at 2:30 a.m. of September 6 as it tilted in heavy seas, authorities said. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Wilfredo Tamayo said the PCG received the distress call around 3 a.m.
The ship tilted around 35 degrees and not 45 degrees as earlier reported by a passenger. Authorities disclosed that some people “had jumped into the water in panic” as the ship was listing, the Agence-France Presse reported.
Around 10 a.m., authorities announced that SuperFerry 9 has already sunk in the vicinity of Batarompon Point., west of Zamboanga Peninsula.
Jess Supan, vice-president for Safety and Security of SuperFerry, earlier said SuperFerry 9 had been involved in two mishaps in 2006 and 2007. He said the SuperFerry 9 was “our first vessel to receive ISO certification… in the first place they wouldn’t be allowed to leave the port if there’s any deficiency.”
Tamayo said the weather was good when the ship left General Santos City. He declined to speculate what caused the ship to tilt. (With reports from ABS-CBN News, SuperFerry website)