Posted on August 28, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
The Philippine-flagged Ferry, LITE FERRY 16 caught on fire during the evening hours of August the 27th while approaching Dapitan City, Philippines.
The incident occurred at approximately 11:00 pm, while the vessel was about to dock at Palauan Port.
Reportedly, the RoRo was carrying over 270 passengers at the time of the fire. The blaze started out in the engine room and proceeded to quickly spread through the entire ship.
Upon receiving news of the fire, the Philippine Coast Guard immediately diverted the vessels, FAST CAT and DANICA JOY to support the distressed vessel. Local fishermen tried to support the evacuating of the passengers but had to stop their efforts due to the adverse weather conditions in the area.
The Master of the ship gave the order to abandon the vessel, and everyone jumped off the ship in order to escape the fire.
However, there are some reports that suggest that the Philippine Coast Guard took at least 3-4 hours to respond to the incident.
As of writing, at least 245 passengers have been rescued, while 24 are still considered missing. Unfortunately, at least four individuals have died in the process, including a small infant.
The ship’s manifest only showed 136 passengers alongside a crew of 36 on board the vessel but the actual numbers of passengers far exceed that.
The fire-stricken ferry had originally left Santander, Cebu and was bound for the port of Palauan in Dapitan.