Tuesday, September 23, 2008

2008 Ferry Princess of Stars

MV Princess of the Stars (sometimes mistakenly referred to as Princess of Stars)was a ferry owned by Filipino shipping company Sulpicio Lines that capsized off the coast of San Fernando, Romblon at the height of Typhoon Fengshen on June 21, 2008. (Fengshen passed directly over Romblon as a Category 2 storm.

The MV Princess of the Stars, flagship of the Sulpicio Lines fleet, left the port of Manila on June 20, 2008 on its way to Cebu City. The number of passengers is variously reported between 700 and 800.The ferry sent a distress signal at midday on June 21 when its engines allegedly stalled in rough seas near Sibuyan Island. San Fernando mayor Nanette Tansingco sent a speedboat and confirmed that the ferry had a hole in the hull, was partially submerged and that several bodies had been found nearby. Later reports revealed that the hole in the hull was actually the ship's bow thruster.

Location of the storm and the Princess of the Stars when the ship lost radio contact at 11 am June 21, 2008.As of June 23, four bodies were recovered by the Philippine Coast Guard and the Philippine Navy.According to the Coast Guard, the ferry's manifest recorded 702 passengers including 50 children as well as 100 crew. The civil defense office said the ship carried 626 passengers and 121 crew members. Three Navy vessels were dispatched but one had to abort its mission due to "gigantic waves, pounding rain, and gusty winds," said Lieutenant Colonel Edgard Arevalo, spokesman of the Philippine Navy.

A rescue ship reached the MV Princess of the Stars, more than 24 hours after it lost radio contact at 12:30 PST (04:30 GMT) on Saturday.Philippine Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Senior Grade Arman Balilo, however, lamented: "They haven't seen anyone. They're scouring the area. They're studying the direction of the waves to determine where survivors may have drifted."

Xinhua News Agency reported that 4 survivors witnessed "that the captain of the ship ordered the abandoning of the ship at noon Saturday, but many passengers did not even wear life vests when the ship capsized." Four survivors told GMA News that "the ship did not malfunction, but only slowed down its speed as it encountered big waves off the coast of Romblon." One saw many people jump, but "the waves were so big and the rains so strong that few of them could have possibly survived; the crew were so busy saving themselves that they did not care to help the passengers to wear safety vests, and that some of the passengers passed out while children and the elderly failed to wear life vests because they could no longer move when the ship was turning upside down."

Tansingco confirmed that 4 aboard died and hundreds of passengers were still missing. Dozens of people trooped to the offices of owner Sulpicio Lines in Cebu and Manila North Harbor. The victims' families accused Sulpicio Lines and the Philippine Coast Guard of allowing the ship to set sail despite the bad weather. They further blamed Sulpicio for not personally informing them about the tragedy, the details of the accident, and the condition of the ship plus its passengers. Sulpicio Lines's counsel stated that "the ship never received advice from Coast Guard, while Metro Manila was still under public storm signal No. 1 when the ship left the port." Furthermore, BBC quoted President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as saying, "Why did you allow it to sail and why was there no ample warning? I want answers."

Sulpicio admitted that 860 were on board as the ferry capsized: "There were 751 manifested passengers and 111 crew members on board the capsized vessel." The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) suspended all sea travel operations of the Sulpicio. Sulpicio lines released the names of 32 survivors with the complete passenger manifest and crew list uploaded on their website.

A week after the ferry disaster, more than 100 passengers have been confirmed dead, with 500 still missing. The ship is also carrying the pesticide, endosulfan. Some 60+ passengers were found within the first week.
Survivors and recovered bodies
Meanwhile, Claveria, Masbate Mayor Eduardo Andueza reported 350 corpses recovered while 40 people were rescued off the coast of Burias Island, Masbate on Monday. The bodies however could not have only come from the MV Princess of the Stars but also from other vessels that capsized. Some of the 40 survivors said they came from cargo vessel MV Lake Paway, which departed from Mindanao but later sank at sea.

Twenty five survivors from the ferry were transported from Quezon province to the headquarters of the Philippine National Red Cross in Intramuros, Manila. Senator and Red Cross chairman Richard Gordon stated that the survivors were given food, clothing and medical assistance. A Red Cross official also reported that some went home to their families in Manila.

The Philippine Coast Guard on June 24, 2008 reported that it accounted for only 115 (48 survivors confirmed, 67 others confirmed dead, 747 missing) of the 862 passengers and crew of the MV Princess of the Stars. Divers, however said that 15 bodies were found inside the ship's dining area and 2 others in the bridge.

Philippines Navy spokesman Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo said the ship's interior was too dark: "Most of the bodies were floating inside. They were trapped when the seven-story ship suddenly tilted and capsized. The reports we're getting are that many bodies have been found."

Navy divers and rescuers found bodies, wearing life jackets, trapped in air pockets, but no survivors inside the wreck when they entered the upturned hulk of the ferry. The corpses turned white, floating head up inside the mass grave below the waves. A helicopter from U.S. military ship, the USNS Stockham, found 12 corpses floating near Masbate island, but it was not clear if they were from the Princess of the Stars. Sulpicio lines said "it would pay families of the dead 200,000 pesos ($4,500) each and also give survivors financial assistance." VP Noli de Castro presided over the first meeting of the newly created "Task Force Princess Stars."

On June 27, 2008 recovery efforts were ceased due to the discovery that 10,000 kilos of the dangerous pesticide endosulfan were on board. The government is considering filing charges as it is illegal to transport dangerous goods on passenger vessels in the Philippines.

BMI final report
The 5-member Philippines Board of Marine Inquiry, in its 65-page report dated August 25, 2008 (submitted to the Maritime Industry Authority or Marina), found Sulpicio Lines and its captain liable for the MV Princess of the Stars June 21 maritime tragedy. The BMI recommended that Marina “consider the suspension of the Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC) of Sulpicio Lines in accordance with existing laws, rules and regulations (and its criminal liability for the sinking." The final report blamed human error, and ruled that the ship's missing and presumed dead captain, Florencio Marimon, "miscalculated" the risk of continuing the trip to Cebu while the storm raged: "There was a failure of the master to exercise extraordinary diligence and good seamanship thereby committing an error of judgment.The immediate cause of the capsizing of MV Princess of the Stars was the failure of the Master to exercise extraordinary diligence and good seamanship thereby committing an error of judgment that brought MV Princess of the Stars in harm's way into the eye of Typhoon Fengshen (Frank). It is found negligent for its failure to exercise its duty in ensuring that they transport passengers and cargo safely to (their) destination.”

Sulpicio said 52 survived the tragedy and 312 bodies were recovered of 825 passengers listed. The rest were declared missing and presumed dead. Sulpicio may appeal within 30 days, the Board's recommendation to the Maritime Industry Authority (Philippines) and the Department of Transportation. Meanwhile, cargoes of 5 toxic pesticides and other poisonous substances are still on board the ferry and will be refloated on September.Sulpicio Lines, the 2nd largest cargo carrier in the Philippines, accounts for 40% of all cargo movement across the country.

Raising of the stars

The Philippine government and the Sulpicio Lines have decided to 'refloat' the sunken MV Princess of the Stars. The say, this would help in retrieving the hundreds of bodies still trapped inside the vessel, as well as easing the retrieval of the toxic cargo inside the ship. Vice President Noli De Castro says, this would probably take a month before the ship is refloated.

This seems an amazing, yet dangerous task. Amazing, because it's probably one of the first in the world for a doomed passenger ship to be refloated again. It would take really big vessels and equipment for this to happen. But there are also risks since no one knows the exact spot where the toxic endosulfan is located.

As of press time, more than 700 passengers and crew are still unaccounted for.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Ferry The Salem Express

Navales et Industrielles de la Mediterranee in La Seyne, France, in 1965. The ship was sailed under the name FRED SCAMARONI , and since 1969 she had been operating for the company Compagnie Générale Transatlantique. That company assigned her to the company Compagnie Générale Transméditerranéenne, which conveyed her to the Société Nationale Maritime Corse-Méditerranée in 1976.

In 1980, she was sold to the Ole Lauritzen and renamed the NUITS SAINT GEORGE, only for being sold just ten months later to the Egyptian company Lord Maritime Enterprise and given the name of LORD SINAI. She provided the transport between the Suez and Akaba. In 1984, she was renamed the AL TAHRA, and subsequently, in 1988, sold to the Samatour Shipping Company, which renamed her the SALEM EXPRESS. It was this company she was providing the ferry service between the harbour of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia as long as December 1991 for, when she sank near the Egyptian port of Safaga. As for the number of casualties, the Salem Express ferry sinking belongs to the greatest maritime disasters of recent times.

Technical parameters of the ship:
Length: 4 m
Width: 17.8 m
Draught: 4.9m
Displacement: 4771 tons
Engines: 4 eight-cylinder diesel engines
Output: 11.100 KW
Speed: 19.5 knots

In December 1991, the Salem Express left the Saudi Arabian port of Jeddah for her last voyage. Besides the load of several cars, hundreds of passengers returning from the holy city of Mecca were on her board. Her captain was Hassan Moro, who was in command of the ferry since 1988, and was one of the most experienced captains. Few people knew the route between Jeddah and Safaga as well as him. Before his moving to Safaga to work for the Samatour Shipping Company, he had also taught at the Egyptian Naval Academy. Based on his knowledge, he was in the habit of approaching the Safaga port by taking the south course between the mainland and the Hyndman reefs, which was a non-standard way. The route to the Safaga port has been designated with taking the so called north course around the Panorama Reef. That would keep the big ships in sufficient deep water, which would secure them more safety. However, this standard landing maneuver is by more then two hours longer then the route chosen by Captain Moro.

The Salem Express commenced the journey from Saudi Arabia with two days’ delay caused by the repair of one engine. In the night from 15 to 16 December 1991 the weather got worse, and regarding the number of the people on board who were just deck passengers, the Captain decided for the shorter landing maneuver, that is to take the south route around the Hyndman Reefs. Another reason for shortening of the journey should have been the two days’ delay and an alleged pressure exercised by the Samatour Line wishing the passengers would be disembarked from the ferry and the ship would return back to Jeddah as soon as possible, where other thousands of pilgrims were waiting for their return from the holy city of Mecca.
In the course of her 450 miles long voyage, the Salem Express insignificantly went off the course in the east direction, with the effect that it got not so far from the Hyndman Reefs as usual. Because the midnight was approaching and the sea was rough, nobody from the captain’s bridge could see the reef. That resulted in the Salem Express striking the most southerly reef of the Hyndman Reefs, which was 1/3 of the size of the ferry itself, and she went down on 16 December at 00.30 a.m.

Many lives were lost immediately. Other people were swimming for their lives in the rough sea. None of the lifeboats was launched to help to rescue the drowning people. The only thing that may have helped people in that moment was the current taking them towards shore.
Officially, the ship was carrying from 650 persons to 578 passengers and 72 crew members. However, the witnesses insist that she was carrying up to twice as many passengers. Only 180 persons survived the disaster. The ship’s physician, who survived the disaster, mentioned in her testimony that the ship had been like a tin of sardines. There were so many people crowded on the main deck that it was nearly impossible to walk on it.

2006 Ferry al-Salam Boccaccio

The M/V al-Salam Boccaccio 98 (Arabic: Salam سلام means "peace") was an Egyptian Ro/Ro Passenger ferry, operated by El Salam Maritime Transport, that sank on 3 February 2006 in the Red Sea en route from Duba, Saudi Arabia, to Safaga in southern Egypt. Its last known position was 100 km (62 miles) from Duba, when it lost contact with the shore at about 22:00 EET (20:00 UTC).

The ship was carrying 1,312 passengers and 96 crew members, according to Mamdouh Ismail, head of al-Salaam Maritime Transport Company.Earlier an Egyptian embassy spokesman in London had mentioned 1,310 passengers and 105 crew (however, the Egyptian presidential spokesman mentioned 98 crew, while the Transport Minister said.The majority are thought to have been Egyptians working in Saudi Arabia, but they also included pilgrims returning from the Hajj in Mecca. The ship was also carrying about 220 vehicles.

General characteristics
after rebuild in 1991
Displacement: 11799 gross register tons (GRT)
5555 Net Register Tonnage
2200 metric tons of deadweight (DWT)
Length: 130.99 m
Beam: 23.6 m
Draft: 5.9 m
Propulsion: 2×9 cylinder GMT-Fiat diesels
16,560 kW (22,207.32 hp)
Speed: 19 knots (35.18 km/h)
Complement: 105 crew
Passengers: 1,310
Car capacity: 320

Ship history
The vessel was built by the Italian company Italcantieri in 1970 with IMO number 6921282 and named the Boccaccio at Monfalcone, Italy for Tirrenia di Navigazione. It was originally intended for Italian domestic service. Its dimensions included 130.99 m length overall with 23.60 m beam and 5.57 m draft. The main engines are rated at 16,560 kW for a maximum speed of 19 knots. The vessel had an original capacity of 200 automobiles and 1000 passengers. Five sister ships were built.

The vessel was rebuilt in 1991 by INMA at La Spezia, maintaining the same outer dimensions albeit with a higher superstructure, changing the draught to 5.90 m. At the same time its automobile capacity was increased to 320 and the passenger capacity was increased to 1,300. The most recent gross registered tonnage was 11,799.

The Boccaccio was purchased in 1999 by El Salam Maritime Transport, headquartered in Cairo, the largest private shipping company in Egypt and the Middle East, and renamed al-Salam Boccaccio 98; the registered owner is Pacific Sunlight Marine Inc. of Panama. She is also referred to as Salam 98.

The sinking

The reported point where the ship was last observed by coastal radarFirst reports[8] of statements by survivors indicated that smoke from the engine room was followed by a fire which continued for some time. There were also reports of the ship listing soon after leaving port and that after continuing for some hours the list became severe and the ship capsized within 10 minutes as the crew fought the fire. In a BBC radio news broadcast an Egyptian ministerial spokesman said that the fire had started in a storage area, was controlled, but then started again. The ship turned round and as it turned the capsize occurred. The significance of the fire was supported by statements attributed to crew members who were reported to claim that the firefighters essentially sank the ship when sea water they used to battle the fire collected in the hull because drainage pumps were not working.

Possible causes
There have been several theories expressed about possible causes of the sinking.

Fire: Some survivors dragged from the water have reported that there was a large fire on board before the ship sank, and there have been eyewitness accounts of thick black smoke coming from the engine rooms.
Design flaws: The al-Salam Boccaccio 98 was a roll on-roll off (ro-ro) ferry. This is a design that allows vehicles to drive on one end and drive off the other. This means that neither the ship nor any of the vehicles need to turn around at any point. It also means that the cargo hold is one long chamber going through the ship. To enable this to work, the vehicle bay doors must be very near the waterline, so if these are sealed improperly, water may leak through. Even a small amount of water moving about inside can gain momentum and capsize a ship, in a way known as the Free Surface Effect.
Modifications: In the 1980s the ship was reported to have had several modifications, including the addition of two passenger decks, and the widening of cargo decks. This would have made the ship less stable than it was designed to be, particularly as its draught was only 5.9m. Combined with high winds, the tall ship could have been toppled easily.
Vehicle movement: Another theory is that the rolling ship could have caused one or more of the 220 vehicles in its hold to break loose and theoretically be able to puncture a hole in the side of the ship.

On 17 October 2005, the Pride of al Salam 95, a sister ship of the al-Salam Boccaccio 98, also sank in the Red Sea, after being struck by the Cypriot-registered cargo ship Jebal Ali. In that accident, two people were killed and another 40 injured, some perhaps during a stampede to leave the sinking ship. After evacuating all the ferry passengers and crew, the Jebal Ali went astern and the Pride of al Salam 95 sank in about 3½ minutes....

2006 Queen of the North

M/V Queen of the North was a RORO ferry built by AG Weser of Germany and operated by BC Ferries, which ran along a scenic 18-hour route along the British Columbia Coast of Canada between Port Hardy and Prince Rupert, British Columbia, a route also known as the Inside Passage. On March 22, 2006, with 101 persons aboard, she sailed off course, ran aground and sank. A missing couple whose bodies have not been found are now considered lost in the tragedy. The ship had a gross tonnage of 8,806 (the 5th largest in fleet), and an overall length of 125 metres (14th longest in the fleet). She had a capacity of 700 passengers and 115 cars.

General characteristics
Displacement: 8,806 gross register tons (GRT)
Length: 125 m
Beam: 19.74 m
Draft: 5.24 m
Propulsion: 2 × MAN V8V diesels
11 638 kW (15 600 hp)
Speed: 20 knots
Passengers: 700
Car capacity: 115

The ship was built by AG Weser, Bremerhaven, Germany in 1969, and was originally operated by Stena Line as Stena Danica on the route between Gothenburg, Sweden and Frederikshavn in Denmark. She was sold to government-owned BC Ferries for CAD $13.8 million in April 1974 and was renamed Queen of Surrey, operating between Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver and Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. This busy route requires 8 transits per day and due to her RORO bow design, it was quickly evident that the vessel was unsuited for this route since she could not be loaded and unloaded as fast as necessary. The ship was decommissioned in 1976 and laid up at BC Ferries' dockyard at Deas Island in Vancouver while the government debated what to do with her.

In May 1980, after an extensive $10 million refit for longer haul, northern service (staterooms, more restaurants & cargo holds) she was renamed Queen of the North. She was assigned to the Inside Passage route between Port Hardy on Vancouver Island and Prince Rupert in north-western BC. She occasionally also served Bella Bella, Skidegate (Queen Charlotte Islands), and several other small, north-western coastal villages. Due to the isolation of some of these communities (where roads were poor or non-existent), she served as the main source of transport, picking up residents and medical patients, and dropping off food, mail and supplies.

In 1985, she was refurbished and designated the "flagship" of BC Ferries' fleet. After the sinking of the M/S Estonia in 1994, BC Ferries installed a second set of internally welded doors to prevent the bow from flooding in rough seas.

During 2001, she was given a major $500,000 refit at Vancouver Shipyards, which included a redesign and modernization of the passenger decks. However, owing to her older single hull design, the ship was not designed to survive a significant hull breach or the flooding of more than one bulkhead compartment. All newer ferries can survive flooding of at least two bulkhead compartments and because of this concern, the ship was intended to be replaced between 2009 and 2011.


Final moments of the Queen of the NorthThe Queen of the North sank after running aground on Gil Island in Wright Sound, 135 kilometres (70 nautical miles) south of Prince Rupert, British Columbia. She sank at 12:25 am or 12:43 am PST (08:43 UTC) on March 22, 2006; there are conflicting reports about the exact time. News reports have indicated that the vessel was one kilometre off course at the time of the collision[1]. She was bound for Port Hardy.

According to emergency responders the ship took approximately an hour to sink, giving passengers time to evacuate into lifeboats. Eyewitness reports confirmed the approximate time between the accident and the sinking and also suggest that the ship sank stern first. The ship's final position is 53°19.917′N 129°14.729′WCoordinates: 53°19.917′N 129°14.729′W according to the BC Ferries investigation.

The ship's captain was reportedly not on the bridge at the time of the accident. Local weather reports indicated winds gusting to 75 km/h in the vicinity of Wright Sound. According to Kevin Falcon, the BC Minister of Transportation, the autopilot equipment had been certified by Transport Canada only as recently as 2 March.

On 26 March 2007, BC Ferries released its internal investigation into the sinking. The report concluded that the Queen of the North failed to make the required or any course changes at Sainty Point, and that the ship proceeded straight on an incorrect course for four nautical miles over 14 minutes until its grounding at 17.5 knots on Gil Island. The investigation found no evidence of alterations of speed at any time during the transit of Wright Sound and concluded that human factors were the primary cause of the sinking.

Environmental concerns
The ship had approximately 220,000 litres of diesel fuel on board and 23,000 litres of lubricating oil. She was also carrying 16 vehicles, and her foundering created an oil slick that quickly spread throughout the sound. Containment efforts began that morning, and on 25 March 2006, officials said that it "appears no major damage has been done to the environment in the area."The long-term effects on Wright Sound's biosystem, and especially its shellfish population, are not yet known. Officials doubted any salvaging of the vessel would be possible. Burrard Clean Operations has been hired to conduct environmental response operations, if required.

On March 26, 2006, the Queen of the North was located by a manned submersible craft at a depth of 427 metres.The ship is intact, according to BC Ferries, and it is "resting in silt on the keel and the silt covers the hull up to what's called the rubbing strake and above in some areas.". The ship is located at 53° 19.91’ N, 129° 14.72’ W. Images of the scene will be given to the Transportation Safety Board of Canada as part of an ongoing investigation into the cause of the accident.

In the legislature in March 2007, NDP Opposition Critic for the Environment Shane Simpson questioned the lack of action in the past year on removing the fuel from the sunken ship. Minister of Environment Barry Penner advised against "armchair engineering," responded that waterways and sunken vessels were federal responsibilities, and that BC Ferries would be working with the Canada Coast Guard to put together a plan that would not result in the unintended release of fuel into the environment.

2004 WGA Superferry 14

The 2004 SuperFerry 14 bombing on February 27, 2004, resulted in the sinking of the ferry SuperFerry 14 and the deaths of 116 people in the Philippines' deadliest terrorist attack and the world's deadliest terrorist attack at sea.

The 10,192-ton ferry sailed out of Manila for Cagayan de Oro City via Bacolod City and Iloilo City with about 900 passengers and crew. A television set containing an 8-pound (4 kilograms) TNT bomb had been placed on board. 90 minutes out of port, the bomb exploded. 63 people were killed immediately and 53 were missing and presumed dead.

Despite claims from various terrorist groups, the blast was initially thought to have been an accident, caused by a gas explosion. However, after divers righted the ferry five months after it sank, they found evidence of a bomb blast. A man named Redondo Cain Dellosa also admitted to planting the bomb on board for the Abu Sayyaf guerrilla group.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo announced on October 11, 2004, that investigators had concluded that the explosion had been caused by a bomb. She said six suspects had been arrested in connection with the bombing and that the masterminds, Khadaffy Janjalani and Abu Sulaiman, were still at large. It was believed that Abu Sayyaf bombed Superferry 14 because the company that owned it, WG&A, did not comply with a letter demanding USD $1million in protection money.

2002 Ferry Le Joola

MV Le Joola was a Senegalese government-owned ferry that capsized off the coast of Gambia on September 26, 2002. The disaster resulted in the deaths of at least 1,863 people. The sinking of the ferry Joola is thought to be the second-worst non-military maritime disaster in number of lives lost.

General characteristics
Class and type: Car/Passenger (Roll on /Roll off) Ferry
Tonnage: 2087 gross
Length: 79.5 meters
Beam: 12 meters
Draft: 3.1 meters
Capacity: 536 passengers
35 cars
Crew: 44

Last voyage
On September 26, 2002, the ferry Joola set sail from Ziguinchor in the Casamance region on one of its frequent trips between southern Senegal and the country's capital Dakar. It was about 1:30 p.m. At the time of voyage the ship was designed to carry approximately 580 passengers. In all, almost 2,000 passengers are believed to have been on board, including 185 that boarded the ship from Carabane, an island where there was no formal port of entry or exit for passengers. The exact number of all passengers remains unknown but there were 1046 travellers with tickets. The remaining number comes from people who did not hold tickets either because they weren't required to (children aged less than 5) or because they embarked on a trip without paying for it as was common with the Joola.

The last call from the ferry staff broadcasted to a maritime security center in Dakar was at 10 p.m. and reported good travel conditions. In Titanic-culture style, people were dancing and drinking inside the ship to the sound of a live band playing. At around 11 p.m., the ship sailed into a storm off the coast of Gambia. As a result of the rough seas and wind, the ferry quickly capsized, throwing passengers and cargo into the sea. Detailed reports indicate that this happened in less than five minutes.

Two French passengers, Patrice Auvray, 41, and his friend Corinne, 41, successfully got out of the boat, but Corinne was already weakened by sickness and couldn't continue swimming. She died thirty minutes later. Only one lifeboat was deployed and was able to transport 25 people. In the dark of night, 22 others were able to find a dry footing on the bottom of the capsized ship that wasn't yet completely submerged.

While many of the ship's passengers may have been killed during or immediately following the capsizing, a large number probably survived only to drown whilst awaiting rescue. Government rescue teams did not arrive at the scene until the morning following the accident, although local fishermen rescued some survivors from the sea several hours before. Of the estimated 2,000 passengers, only around 64 survived including only one woman (Mariama Diouf, who was pregnant at the time) from more than 600 female passengers aboard.

Some time before official rescue arrived, it was local fishermen with pirogues in the area of the tragedy who started the first efforts to pull survivors out of the water. They were able to rescue a few people but also recovered several bodies that were floating around the Joola. At 2 p.m., they rescued a 15 year-old boy. The boy confirmed that there were still many people trapped alive inside the boat; there were reports of noises and screaming coming from within.

The Joola remained capsized but afloat until around 3:00 p.m., at which point she finally slid beneath the water's surface, taking with her those who were unable to get out of the ship.

The huge loss of life caused by the tragedy was a great shock to many in Senegal and immediately led to calls from the press and public for an explanation of the disaster. The Senegalese government established an inquiry to investigate. The French courts also launched a probe into the disaster as several French nationals were among the dead. According to many sources now available, the accident was caused by a variety of factors, including possible negligence. While rough seas and wind were directly responsible for the capsizing, the ferry was built only to be sailed in coastal waters but was sailing beyond this coastal limit when it capsized. Overcrowding is one of the most commonly mentioned factors in the disaster, both for the capsizing and the high number of deaths. Due to the heat and claustrophobic conditions below deck, as many passengers as possible usually slept on the upper level making the ship more unstable. The ship was only 12 years old and was built to be in service for at least 30 years but had suffered a number of technical problems in the years before it capsized. These problems are now attributed to poor maintenance by its owners and not to any design or manufacturing flaws.

At least 1,863 people died, although the exact number will never be known due to a large number of unticketed passengers on board. Among the dead, were 1,201 men (61.5%) and 682 women (34.9%). The gender of 70 victims couldn't be determined. The dead included passengers from at least 11 countries including Cameroon, Guinea, Ghana, Nigeria, France, Spain, Norway, Belgium, Lebanon, Switzerland and Netherlands. On Saturday morning, Sept. 26, Haïdar El Ali, an environmental activist born in Senegal from Lebanese parents, and his diving team explored the disaster area but saw no survivors, instead many bodies of men, women and children inside the Joola. 300 corpses trapped inside were freed. Another 100 that were around the ship were also recovered. Only 551 dead bodies were recovered in total. Of that number 93 were identifiable and given back to families. The remaining bodies were put to rest in specially constructed cemeteries in Kabadiou, Kantene, Mbao and on the Gambian coast. National funerals were held on Oct. 11, 2002 at the Esplanade du Souvenir in Dakar.

Ferry Express Samina

Express Samina (Greek: Εξπρές Σαμίνα) was a RORO passenger ferry (built in 1966) that operated in Greece and sank in the evening (23:02) on Tuesday 26 September 2000 near the island of Paros. Eighty-two of the over 500 passengers (473 passengers and 61 crew members according to Discovery Channel) were lost at sea. The fact that the crew did not help the passengers evacuate the sinking ferry contributed to the death toll.

The crew placed the ship on autopilot and did not have a crew member watch the ship. Even with autopilot standard practice calls for one crew member to watch the controls since the wind and currents drag the ship to a degree that cannot be compensated by the electronic systems. The crew deployed the stabilizer system to decrease the motions in bad weather; normally both stabilizer fins deployed, but in this case the port stabilizer fin did not deploy. This caused the ship to drift and therefore not travel in a straight line. A crew member discovered the problem and, at the last minute, tried to steer the ship left. This action occurred too late. At 10:12 P.M. the ship struck the east face of the taller pinnacle. The rocks tore a six-meter long and one-meter wide hole above the water line. After that impact, the rocks bent the stabilizer fin backwards, and the fin cut through the hull through the side, below the waterline, and next to the engine room. The water from the three-meter gash destroyed the main generators and ended electrical power. Professor David Molyneaux, a ship safety expert, said that the damage sustained by the Samina should not normally sink a like ship. The ship sank because nine of the ship's eleven watertight compartment doors were open when safety laws require ship operators to close and lock the safety doors. The water spread beyond the engine room, and due to a lack of power the operators could not remotely shut the doors. Molyneaux described the open watertight doors as the most significant aspect of the sinking.

Chronology of the sinking
At 10:15 PM, three minutes after impact, the ship listed by five degrees port. By 10:25 PM the list increased to fourteen degrees and the six meter gash received water from the ocean. By 10:29 the ship listed by twenty-three degrees; this prevented the launching of additional lifeboats. Three of the eight lifeboats were launched. At 10:32 the ship listed by 33 degrees. By 10:50 the ship lay on its side. Since the clock on the bridge stopped at 11:02, authorities knew that the ship sank at that time. The degree of damage, the scenario, and the open space in the RORO ferry design (other vessels lack large, open spaces, so a sinking is less likely for them) lead to the sinking.

Passengers were apparently unaided by the crew in evacuating, and there was wide-spread panic among them. It was questioned later if the crew were engaged in a televised sporting event at the time. Inflatable life rafts blew away in the windy conditions as soon as they were inflated, before anyone could board them; only four of the ship's eight solid lifeboats were able to be launched before the ship's tilt prevented further launches. Some passengers also jumped from the ship, while ten bodies were found still trapped in the hull.

Ferry Maria Carmela

April 11, 2002 - MV Maria Carmela

MV Maria Carmela is a roll-on roll-off (RORO) passenger ferry owned and operated by Montenegro Shipping Lines. It left Masbate port on the evening of April 10 but caught fire just an hour from its destination city of Lucena in Quezon province. Out of the 290 passengers and crew, 23 were killed and 27 are missing.

Ferry Asia South Korea

December 23, 1999 - MV Asia South Korea

MV Asia South Korea was a passenger ferry owned by Trans-Asia Shipping Lines. On its way to Iloilo City from Cebu City to bring home passengers trying to beat the Christmas holiday rush, it sank off Bantayan Island in Cebu province killing 44 people, including two Canadian nationals and 12 Nepalese students. It was found out that the number of passengers exceeded the total capacity of the 27-year-old ferry and that it sailed from port even as authorities have already banned ferries from travelling due to an incoming storm.

Ferry Princess of the Orient

September 20, 1998 - MV Princess of the Orient

MV Princess of the Orient is another Sulpicio Lines-owned passenger ferry that sank off Fortune Island in Nasugbu, Batangas on its way to Cebu City from Manila. The ship reportedly left the port of Manila even as a typhoon signal has been declared in the city. This disaster claimed the lives of 150 people.

1994 Ferry Estonia, 852 dead

MS Estonia, previously MS Viking Sally (1980–1990), MS Silja Star (–1991), and MS Wasa King (–1993), was a cruiseferry built in 1980 at the German shipyard Meyer Werft in Papenburg. The ship's sinking in the Baltic Sea on September 28, 1994, claimed 852 lives and was one of the deadliest maritime disasters in the late 20th century.


The Estonia disaster occurred on September 28, 1994 between about 00:55 to 01:50 (UTC+2) as the ship was crossing the Baltic Sea, en route from Tallinn, Estonia, to Stockholm, Sweden. The Estonia was on a scheduled crossing with departure at 19:00 in the evening on September 27. She had been expected in Stockholm the next morning at about 09:30. She was carrying 989 passengers and crew.

According to the final disaster report the weather was rough, with a wind of 15 to 20 m/s (29–39 knots/33–45 mph), force 7–8 on the Beaufort scale and a significant wave height of 3 to 4 meters (10–13 ft) compared with the highest measured significant wave height in the Baltic Sea of 7.7 metres (25.3 ft). Esa Mäkelä, the captain of MS Silja Europa who was appointed on scene commander for the subsequent rescue effort, described the weather as "normally bad", or like a typical autumn storm in the Baltic Sea. All scheduled passenger ferries were at sea.

The official report says that while the exact speed at the time of the accident is not known, Estonia had very regular voyage times, averaging 16–17 knots, perhaps implying she did not slow down for adverse conditions. The chief mate of the Viking Line cruiseferry MS Mariella tracked Estonia's speed by radar at approximately 14.2 knots before the first signs of distress, while the Silja Europa's officers estimated her speed at 14–15 knots at midnight.

The first sign of trouble onboard the Estonia was a strange sound of metal against metal heard around 01:00, when the ship was on the outskirts of the Turku archipelago; but an investigation of the bow visor showed no obvious damage. At about 01:15, the visor separated and the ship took on a heavy starboard list. At about 01:20 a weak female voice called "Häire, häire, laeval on häire", the Estonian words for "Alarm, alarm, there is alarm on the ship", over the public address system. Just a moment later an internal alarm for the crew was transmitted over the public address system. Soon after this the general lifeboat alarm was given. Soon the vessel lurched some 30 to 40 degrees to starboard, making it practically impossible to move about safely inside the ship. Doors and hallways became deadly pits.

Those who were going to survive were already on-deck by then. A Mayday was communicated by the ship's crew at 01:22, but did not follow international formats. Due to loss of power, she could not give her position, which delayed rescue operations somewhat. The ship disappeared from the radar screens of other ships at around 01:50. Mariella arrived at the scene of the accident at 02:12; the first rescue helicopter arrived at 03:05.

Out of a total of 989 passengers and crew on board 137 were saved. The accident claimed 852 lives (501 Swedes, 280 Estonians, 23 Latvians, 10 Finns and 19 people of other nationalities), by drowning and hypothermia, (the water temperature was 10°C–11 °C/50–52 °F). 92 bodies were recovered.

The official report blamed the accident on the failure of locks on the bow visor, that broke under the strain of the waves. When the visor broke off the ship, it damaged the ramp which covered the opening to the car deck behind the visor. This allowed water into the car deck, which destabilized the ship and began a catastrophic chain of events. (Flooding on the car deck capsized the Herald of Free Enterprise, where the bow doors were left open, and the Princess Victoria, which sank in the same storm which caused the North Sea Flood of 1953. Roll-on/roll-off ferries are particularly vulnerable to capsizing due to the free surface effect if the car deck is even slightly flooded.)

The location of the hull is at 59°23′N, 21°42′E, about 22 nautical miles (41 km) on bearing 157° from Utö island, Finland. She lies in between 74 and 85 meters (243–279 ft) of water.

Official investigation and report
The wreck was examined and videotaped by remotely operated submersibles (ROVs) and by divers from a Norwegian company, Rockwater A/S, that was contracted for the investigation work. It was discovered that the locks on the bow door had failed and that the door had separated from the rest of the vessel. The official report indicated that the bow visor and ramp had been torn off at points that would not trigger an "open" or "unlatched" warning on the bridge, as is the case in normal operation or failure of the latches. There was no video monitoring of this portion of the vehicle bay either. However, a video camera monitoring the inner ramp showed the water as it flooded the car deck. If the crew had known of the condition it is likely that they would have slowed the ship or even reversed its motion, which might have prevented the swamping and sinking. Recommendations for modifications to be applied to similar ships included separation of the condition sensors from the latch and hinge mechanisms, and the addition of video monitoring.

See an official report on Estonia ferry disaster:

MV Cebu City

MV Cebu City

MV Cebu City was a ferry operated by William Lines Incorporated which later merged with Aboitiz Incorporated in 1996. In December 2, 1994, the 2,452 tonnes ferry sunk in Manila Bay after colliding with Singaporean freighter Kota Suria claiming 140 lives. After the investigation by the Philippine Coast Guard, the crew of Cebu City was found responsible for the incident. The collision could have been avoided if the Cebu City obeyed a call from the freighter Kota Suria to turn right. Instead, Cebu City reportedly turned left and crossed to Kota Suria's path.

ferry Dona Marlyn

October 24, 1988 - MV Dona Marilyn

MV Dona Marilyn was known as the sister ship of MV Dona Paz which was both owned by Sulpicio Lines. On October 24, 1988, the ship left Manila and was bound for Cebu City but was caught mid-voyage in a typhoon and sank leaving 254 dead.

Ferry 'Dona Paz'

The Doña Paz was a passenger ferry that sank after colliding with the oil tanker Vector on December 20, 1987.

The Doña Paz was en route from Catbalogan City, on Samar Island, Philippines, to Manila when, while it was in the Tablas Strait, between the islands of Mindoro and Tablas, it collided with a small oil tanker, the Vector, which was carrying 8,800 barrels of petroleum products.

The Vector's cargo ignited and caused a fire that rapidly spread onto the Doña Paz, which sank within minutes. Two of the 13 crew members aboard the Vector survived but all 58 crew of the Doña Paz died. The official death toll on the ferry is 1,565 although some reports claim that the ferry was overcrowded and that the true death toll at least 4,341.The ships would put the death toll at 4,375 although admitting that only 1,568 were on the manifest (still more than the licensed maximum of 1,518). The 21 (or 24) survivors from the ferry had to swim, as there was no time to launch lifeboats.

An inquiry later revealed that the crew of the Vector was under-qualified and that the boat's license had expired.

It is the deadliest ferry disaster and the worst peace-time maritime disaster in history.

Details of collision.

On December 19, 1987, motor tanker MT Vector left Limay, Bataan, at about 8:00 p.m., enroute to Masbate, loaded with 8,800 barrels of petroleum products shipped by petitioner Caltex. MT Vector was a tramping motor tanker owned and operated by Vector Shipping Corporation, engaged in the business of transporting fuel products such as gasoline, kerosene, diesel and crude oil. During that particular voyage, the MT Vector carried on board gasoline and other oil products owned by Caltex by virtue of a charter contract between them.

On December 20, 1987, at about 6:30 a.m., the passenger ship MV Doña Paz left the port of Tacloban headed for Manila with a complement of 59 crew members including the master and his officers, and passengers officially totaling 1,493 as indicated in the Coast Guard Clearance. The MV Doña Paz was a passenger and cargo vessel owned and operated by Sulpicio Lines, Inc. plying the route of Manila/ Tacloban/ Catbalogan/ Manila/ Catbalogan/ Tacloban/ Manila, making trips twice a week.

At about 10:30 p.m. of December 20, 1987, the two vessels collided in the open sea within the vicinity of Dumali Point between Marinduque and Oriental Mindoro. All the crewmembers of MV Doña Paz died, while the two survivors from MT Vector claimed that they were sleeping at the time of the incident.

As the two vessels collided, MT Vector's cargo of fuel and oil was set ablaze and spilled into the surrounding waters. The resulting fire caused many of the deaths of the crew and passengers of both ships.

The MV Doña Paz carried an estimated 4,000 passengers; many indeed, were not in the passenger manifest. Only 24 survived the tragedy after being rescued from the burning waters by vessels that responded to distress calls. [3] Among those who perished were public school teacher Sebastian Cañezal (47 years old) and his daughter Corazon Cañezal (11 years old), both of whom were unmanifested passengers but proven to be on board the vessel.

Herald of Free Enterprise

MS Herald of Free Enterprise was a roll-on roll-off (RORO) car and passenger ferry owned by Townsend Thoresen. She was one of three ships commissioned by the company to operate on the Dover–Calais route across the English Channel. The ferry capsized on the night of 6 March 1987 killing 193 passengers and crew. This was the worst maritime disaster involving a British registered ship in peacetime since the sinking of the Iolaire in 1919.

Background to the capsizing On the day the ferry capsized, the Herald of Free Enterprise was working the route between Dover and the Belgian port of Bruges-Zeebrugge. This was not her normal route and the linkspan at Zeebrugge had not been designed specifically for the Spirit class of vessels. The linkspan used comprised a single deck and so could not be used to load decks E and G simultaneously. The ramp could also not be raised high enough to meet the level of deck E due to the high spring tides being encountered at that time. This was commonly known and was overcome by trimming the ship bow heavy by filling forward ballast tanks. The Herald was due to be modified during its refit in 1987 to overcome this problem. Before dropping moorings, it was normal practice for a member of the crew, the Assistant Bosun, to close the doors, the First Officer also remained on deck to ensure they were closed before returning to the wheel house. To keep on schedule, the First Officer returned to the wheel house before the ship dropped its moorings leaving closing of the doors the responsibility of the Assistant Bosun, Mark Stanley. Mark Stanley had taken a short break after cleaning the car deck upon arrival at Zeebrugge. He had returned to his cabin and was still asleep when the ship dropped its moorings. The captain could only assume that the doors had been closed since he could not see them from the wheel house due to their construction and had no indicator lights in the wheelhouse. There was confusion as to why no one else closed the doors.

The capsizing
The ship sailed at 6:05pm British time with a crew of 80 and carrying 459 passengers, 81 cars, 3 buses, and 47 trucks. When the ferry reached 18.9 knots (33 km/h) 90 seconds after leaving the harbour, water began to enter the car deck in large quantities. The resulting free surface effect destroyed her stability. Within seconds, at 6:28pm, the ship began to list 30 degrees to port. The ship briefly righted herself before listing to port once more, this time capsizing. The entire event took place in less than a minute. The water quickly reached the ship's electrical systems, destroying both main and emergency power and leaving the ship in darkness.

The ship ended on her side half-submerged in shallow water 1km from the shore. Only a fortuitous turn to starboard in her last moments, and then capsizing onto a sandbar, prevented the ship from sinking entirely in much deeper water. If the Herald sunk in much deeper water, the death toll would have been much higher, because the ship then would have been completely submerged.

A nearby dredger noticed the Herald's lights disappear, and notified the port authorities. A rescue helicopter arrived within half an hour, shortly followed by assistance from the Belgian Navy who were undertaking an exercise within the area.

The disaster resulted in the deaths of 193 people. Many of those on board had taken advantage of a promotion in The Sun newspaper for cheap trips to the continent. Most of the victims were trapped inside the ship and succumbed to hypothermia because of the frigid (3 °C) water. Due to the rescue operation of the Belgian Navy the death toll was limited. Recoverable bodies were removed in the days following the accident.

The inquiry
After a public inquiry into the sinking in July 1987, Britain's Lord Justice Sir Barry Sheen published a report that castigated Townsend Thoresen, the ship's owners, and identified a "disease of sloppiness" and negligence at every level of the corporation's hierarchy. It was confirmed that the ferry left port with her bow doors open.

It was apparent from the testimony of crew members that the member responsible for shutting the doors was Mark Stanley, but it was confirmed that when he finished cleaning the car deck after the arrival in Zeebrugge he returned to his cabin for a short break but did not return to the car deck during loading of vehicles and before the ship set sail. When he was questioned, investigators found that at the time when he should have closed the doors, he was still asleep during his break. There was confusion as to why no one else closed the doors. The other crew members expected Stanley to close them because he was scheduled to close them. Before the ship dropped moorings the First Officer should have stayed on the car deck to make sure the doors were closed, but trying to stay on schedule he left the car deck and went to the bridge before the doors were closed. This was normal practice, and the final factor was that from his position on the bridge the captain was not able to see the bow doors clearly, leading him to assume that they were closed.[citation needed]

A few years earlier, one of the Herald's sister ships sailed from Dover to Zeebrugge with the bow doors open, but she made it to the destination without incident.[citation needed] It was therefore believed that leaving the bow doors open alone should not have caused the ship to capsize.

After looking at possible reasons for reduced clearance between the doors and water line, investigators found that there was a problem during the loading of the car decks. The loading ramp at Zeebrugge was too low to reach the upper car deck at high tide. To clear the gap, the captain put sea water into the front ballast tanks to lower the ship's bow. The clearance between bow doors and water line was 2.5 metres. The problem arose due to the fact that Dover-Zeebrugge was not her regular route. Had the Herald survived she was to have been modified to avoid this procedure.[1]

Another factor that contributed to the capsizing was the depth of the water. When a vessel is underway, the movement under it creates low pressure, which has the effect of increasing the vessel's draft. This effect is known as ship "squat". In deep water the effect is small. However, in shallow water it is greater, because as the water passes underneath it would move faster and cause the draft to be increased further. This reduced the clearance between the bow doors and water line to 1.5 meters. Although the bow doors were open and they were 1.5 meters above the water, it was still not enough to cause the ship to capsize, so the investigators looked at the height and volume of water produced by the bow wave.

After extensive tests, the investigators found that when the ship travelled at a speed of 18 knots (33 km/h), the wave was enough to engulf the bow doors. This caused a "step change": if the ship was below 18 knots (33 km/h) and not in shallow water, people on the car deck would probably have had time to notice the bow doors were open and close them, but even this did not cause the final capsizing.

Almost all ships are divided into watertight compartments below the water line so that in the event of flooding, the water would be confined to one compartment, keeping the ship afloat. The Herald's design had an open car deck with no dividers, allowing vehicles to drive in and out easily, but this allowed water to flood the whole of the car deck, putting the ship in danger. As she turned the water flooded to one side and the vessel capsized.

In October 1986, a coroner's inquest jury into the capsizing returned verdicts of unlawful killing. Many of the individuals involved at the company were prosecuted for manslaughter, as was the operating company, P&O European Ferries (Dover) Ltd (for a discussion of the legal issues, see corporate manslaughter). The disaster was one of a number that influenced thinking leading to the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998.

1987 Survivor's Tale
From BBC Online News – BBC.CO.UK

Nineteen-year-old Simon Osborne was returning from a day trip to Belgium on 6 March
1987, when his ferry capsized off the port of Zeebrugge. He was trapped inside the
Herald of Free Enterprise for over two hours before being rescued and taken to safety.
Two of the seven friends with him died in the disaster.
We all boarded the ferry in high spirits - we'd had a good day out in Ostend. We went
our separate ways and arranged to meet in the bar later on. I had to get some duty-free
and I was queuing at the perfume counter when it became clear that something was
beginning to go wrong. The ship jolted - quite violently, but it didn't seem significant
enough to raise any fears at that particular moment. But then within a few seconds
there was a second much more violent jolt and the ship literally tipped over as if you
were knocking over a glass of water - it seemed that quick.
I was thrown onto my back and I slid down the floor of the lounge. I came to a halt on
the front of the bar - which as the ship had capsized had gone from vertical to
horizontal. So I was actually standing upright before the water started coming into the
ship. By this stage the lights were still on and I saw some horrific sights.
People were falling from one side of the ship to the other - somersaulting down. Bottles
of perfume and whisky were flying around - nothing appeared to have been bolted
down. You can imagine what it was like turning something that size over - all the debris
was crashing around about my ears as I stood there.
And then I saw the water burst though the portholes and the deck doors. I was
absolutely terrified. By this stage all the lights had gone out and I felt the freezing cold
water hit my legs and I floated up with it. I was fairly convinced the ship was going to
sink and I'd be trapped and almost certainly perish. But that feeling only lasted until it
became clear the ship finally - luckily - came to rest on a sandbank.
The noise was horrendous from start to finish - a terrible, unbelievable, metallic grinding
noise, breaking glass and the screams of people who were injured, falling or terrified. I
thought I should keep as calm as I could and a certain element of calm did come over
me when I was floating in the water.
It then became decision time. I was trapped in the lounge area of the ship. There were a
lot of people around me, but as time wore on it became clear that many were dying,
presumably from the cold.
I could either stay where I was and risk dying of hypothermia or make a move to try
and at least get to a place within the ship that I thought I could be rescued from. I could
see in the not too far distance - maybe 20 or 30 m away - where windows had been
broken and ropes had been lowered down.
So I pulled myself through Lifejackets, through the debris of the disaster, and
unfortunately through dead bodies, to get to beneath a window. By the time I'd done
that there were rescue teams in the ship and very quickly a harness was put around me
and I was winched onto the side of the ferry.
I was very lucky to get out alive.

ms Admiral Nakhimov

The SS Admiral Nakhimov (Russian: Адмирал Нахимов), originally named Berlin III, was a ship used originally by Germany, but later converted to a Soviet passenger ship. On August 31, 1986, Admiral Nakhimov collided with a large bulk carrier Pyotr Vasyov in the Tsemes Bay, near the port of Novorossiysk, Russian SFSR. In total, 423 of the 1,234 people on board died.


At 10:00 p.m. Moscow Time on August 31, 1986, the Admiral Nakhimov sailed from Novorossiysk en route to Sochi, its next stop. There were 888 passengers and 346 crew members aboard. Most of the passengers were Ukrainian, with others from Moldavia, the Baltic republics and Central Asia. The captain of the ship was Vadim Markov.

Just minutes into the voyage, the ship's pilot noticed that the large bulk carrier Pyotr Vasyov was on a collision course with the Admiral Nakhimov. The Pyotr Vasyov was a Japanese-built, 18,604-ton freighter recently acquired by the Soviet Union, and was carrying a cargo of oats and barley from Canada. The pilot radioed a warning to the Pyotr Vasyov, and the freighter responded, "Don't worry. We will pass clear of each other. We will take care of everything."

Despite the message, Captain Viktor Tkachenko of the Pyotr Vasyov did nothing to slow his ship or change course. Convinced that the freighter would pass without incident, Captain Markov of the Admiral Nakhimov retired to his cabin, leaving his second mate Alexander Chudnovsky in charge. From 11 p.m., Chudnovsky radioed Pyotr Vasyov several times, asking about her course and her further actions. Chudnovsky changed the ship's course 10 degrees portside. At 11:10 p.m., Chundovsky cried on VHF to the freighter, "Immediately reverse full astern!" When it was clear that the freighter was headed directly for the ship, the Pyotr Vasyov's engines were thrown in reverse. The Admiral Nakhimov turned hard to port, but it was too late.

At 11:12 p.m., the Admiral Nakhimov was struck by the Pyotr Vasyov eight miles (15 km) from the port at Novorossiysk and two miles (4 km) from shore line, at 44°36′15″N, 37°52′35″E[3]. While many passengers had gone to bed by this time, some were on deck listening and dancing to a jazz band. They could only watch helplessly as the freighter rammed into the starboard side of the ship at a speed of about 5 knots (9 km/h). The Admiral Nakhimov continued forward with the freighter's bow in its side, ripping a 900 square foot (84 m²) hole in the hull between the engine and boiler rooms.

The Admiral Nakhimov immediately took on a list on her starboard side, and her lights went out upon impact. After a few seconds, the emergency diesel generator powered on, but the lights went out again two minutes later, plunging the sinking ship into darkness. People below decks found themselves lost in the dark and rapidly canting hallways.

There was no time to launch the lifeboats. Hundreds of people dove into the oily water, clinging to lifejackets, barrels and pieces of debris.

The Admiral Nakhimov sank in only seven minutes. Rescue ships began arriving just 10 minutes after the ship went down. The Pyotr Vasyov was not badly damaged, and assisted in the rescue effort. Sixty-four rescue ships and 20 helicopters rushed to the scene, and 836 people were pulled from the water. Some people were so slick with fuel oil that they could not keep hold of the hands of their rescuers. Sailors had to jump into the water to save people.

The Admiral Nakhimov lacked proper ventilation, which was the reason all 90 windows in the cabins were open during the accident. The bulkheads that would have prevented the ship from sinking were removed during the conversion.

Passengers and crew had had little time to escape, and 423 of the 1,234 on board perished. Sixty-four of those killed were crew members and 359 were passengers.

The Soviet government formed a commission of inquiry to investigate the disaster. It was determined that both Captain Markov of the Admiral Nakhimov and Captain Tkachenko of the Pyotr Vasyov had violated navigational safety rules. Despite repeated orders to let the Admiral Nakhimov pass, Tkachenko refused to slow his ship and only reported the accident 40 minutes after it occurred. Captain Markov was absent from the bridge. The law court took place in 1987 in Odessa. Both Captains Markov and Tkachenko was found guilty of criminal negligence and sentenced to 15 years in prison (both were released in 1992).

The event was not reported in the news for five days. The survivors were only allowed to send telegrams saying "Alive and well in Novorossiysk." All mention of the wreck was censored until the September 5 when the newspaper Pravda published a grievance for the victims.

The wreck of the Admiral Nakhimov lies on its starboard side in 150 feet (45 m) of water in Tsemes Bay off Novorossiysk.

From WWII and onwards
The Berlin was one of eight German ships commissioned as hospital ships (Lazarettschiffe) at some point during World War II. Most, if not all, of these ships also served in other capacities during the war after being decommissioned as hospital ships, mainly as accommodation or transport ships for military personnel. All German hospital ships were given alphabetic identifiers, the Berlin's being 'A'. On July 16, 1939, Berlin began her conversion to hospital ship and entered service with the Kriegsmarine as Lazarettschiff A, Sanitätsamt Ost on Aug 23, 1939. The ship had berthing for 400 patients, with a crew of 165. Initially serving in Norwegian waters, she was identified as “Field Post Number 07520”. By January 1945, the Berlin began taking part in Operation Hannibal, the transport of refugees and soldiers from the Eastern Baltic. On January 31, 1945, while forming up in convoy to head east, the Berlin struck a mine off Swinemünde, and was put in tow for Kiel.[2] She then hit another mine and was beached (23.53 hr, at position 54°02.6 N/14°19 E, in shallow waters). There was one fatality. All usable equipment was salvaged by Feb 5, 1945, and the ship was abandoned.

The Berlin was sunk by a mine near Swinemünde in German Pomerania (today Świnoujście Bay, Poland), on February 1, 1945. She was refloated and salvaged by the Soviets in 1949 and renamed Admiral Nakhimov after admiral Pavel Nakhimov, a 19th century Russian naval commander who played a promiment role in the Crimean War. After her conversion, her size was increased to 17,053 gross tons. She entered passenger service for the Black Sea Steamship Company in 1957. In 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, the ship was used to transport soldiers to Cuba.

During the peak summer travel season, the Admiral Nakhimov operated cruises on the Black Sea between Odessa and Batumi, a six-day round trip. She carried an average of 1,000 people per voyage. She was the flagship of the Black Sea passenger fleet for several years until more modern liners entered service.