A wooden-hulled ferry passenger boat and a steel-hulled fishing vessel collided off of The Philippines. At least 46 passengers were rescued but 27 remain missing.

The passenger boat, MV Kataline V, owned by San Nicolas Line, was carrying at least 73 people when it capsized after colliding with fishing boat Natalia, which was bound for Manila from Palawan.  The passenger vessel was headed for Mindoro from Manila.

Search and rescue operations are still ongoing for the the 27 people.  The cause of the collision remains unclear. No weather disturbances were reported in the area.

President Macapagal-Arroyo directed the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) and the Coast Guard to immediately establish the cause of the collision.

Ferries form the backbone of mass transport in the archipelago nation of 92 million people.  But overcrowding and lax enforcement have led to frequent disasters.  Sea accidents are also common in the archipelago due to poor vessel maintenance.

Last year, The Princess of the Stars ferry sailed into a powerful typhoon in June and tipped over near the coast of Sibuyan islanda, killing more than 800 people on board.

In December 1987, the ferry Dona Paz sank after colliding with a fuel tanker, killing more than 4,341 people in the world’s worst peacetime maritime disaster.  This Christmas holiday, a Mass was offered this year by families of the victims of the MV Doña Paz and the MV Princess of the Stars at the Baywalk across from the Rajah Soliman Statue in Malate, Manila.

The maritime lawyers at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers represent injured freighter and tanker crews, cruise liner crews, tug boat and barge operators, offshore, semi submersible and  jack up  rig workers, commercial fishing vessel crews and other workers who meet the definition of  a Jones Act seaman.  For more information about your case, please email us at [email protected] or call (713) 364-0723.