On December 20, 1987, at 06:30 hours, the Philippine-registered passenger ferry MV Doña Paz owned by Sulpicio Lines sank after colliding with the oil tanker MT Vector. The MV Doña Paz was sailing from Leyte island to the Philippine capital of Manila.
MV Doña Paz was seriously overcrowded, had no radio and life-jackets were locked away. Reports said that 2000 passengers were not listed on the manifest.
Official blame was placed on MT Vector, which was found to be unseaworthy, and operating without a license, lookout or qualified master.
While most of the passengers slept, Doña Paz collided with MT Vector, an oil tanker en route from Bataan to Masbate. Vector was carrying 1,050,000 litres (8,800 US bbl) of gasoline and other petroleum products.
Vector‘s cargo ignited and caused a fire on the ship that spread onto Doña Paz. The sea all around the ship itself was on fire making survival nearly impossible for those jumped overboard. Most of the survivors sustained burns from jumping into the flaming waters
With the estimated death toll of 4,386 people and only 24 survivors, it remains the deadliest peacetime maritime disaster in history.
Doña Paz was built in 1963 by Onomichi Zosen of Onomichi, Hiroshima, Japan, and was originally named Himeyuri Maru.
Other Cruise Ship Sinking
- Ferry El Almirante Sinks 170 Aboard Six Dead 31 Missing
- MV Pinak Sinks – Over 100 Passengers Dead
- Cruise Ship Sinking Estimated 1,000 Passengers Dead Lake Victoria
- Sunk Passenger Ship Found by NOAA in San Francisco Bay
- MV Lyubov Orlova Drifting Ghost Ship or Sunk?
Video: MV Doña Paz disaster sa 1987 ABS-CBN yearender