21 June 2008
There were storm warnings, but the ferry sailed despite them. Seven stories high and nearly 24,000 tons, she was rated to handle Storm Condition 2 winds on the 20 hour journey from Manila to Cebu, the major city in the southern part of the Philippines, 355 miles away as the crow flies. On board were 865 people, 724 passengers and 141 crew, about 50 of them children, as well as a dangerous cargo.
On route, the ship encountered the fierce winds and massive waves of Typhoon Fengshen, which had been sweeping through the region but had not been expected to cross the ferry’s path. Typhoons are notoriously erratic, however, and in due course Fengshen’s mountainous seas swamped and then capsized the ship as she ran aground, tearing a large gash in her hull in the process, just off Sibuyan Island in Romblon Province, about halfway to her…
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