Skip to main content

5 injured in cruise ship fire off Tubbataha - Philippine Navy

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Philippines -- (UPDATE 3 - 1:55 p.m.) At least five passengers were injured when a fire struck a cruise ship off Tubbataha Reefs National Marine Park between Palawan and Panay islands, authorities said Saturday.

The Philippine Coast Guard and Naval Forces West have dispatched several vessels to assist the Azamara Quest, which was reported to have 600 passengers, mostly Americans and Europeans, and a crew of 121 Filipinos.

Benito Ramos, executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, and Eugene Cabrera, chief of the Office of Civil Defense for the Mimaropa region, said the Coast Guard received an emergency call from the ship around 7 a.m.
Cabrera described the fire as "minor."

The 30,000-gross ton, 181-meter long vessel was sailing from Manila to Indonesia.
"Our information is that the fire is under control but the ship needs to evacuate five injured passengers," Navforwest’s Commander Joseph Rostum Pena said.

The information belied an earlier travel alert posted on the website of cruise operator Azamara Club Cruises that none of the passengers had been hurt.

Cabrera said one of the injured passengers was in "unstable" condition. The rest sustained minor injuries.

The 570th Composite Air Wing also scrambled an aircraft to track down the vessel, which had reported it position at 45 nautical miles northeast of Mapun Island. Cabrera said the Coast Guard in Palawan plotted the ship at 140 miles from Sandakan, Malaysia.

Among the vessels on the way to the ship are PS31 and two vessels of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources from Zamboanga City, PG118 from Tawi-Tawi, Mpac from Jolo, and PG392 from Palawan.

Ramos and said the Coast Guard has also dispatched the BRP Edsa and BRP Romblon.
Cabrera said the ship's operators have also chartered a Malaysian tugboat to tow the vessel in case efforts to restore propulsion fail.

Pena said they also alerted the YL Fishing Company, which had a vessel plotted in the vicinity of the distressed ship, to help with the rescue efforts.

In its travel alert, Azamara Club Cruises said the fire broke out onboard the Azamara Quest around 8:19 p.m. Friday ship time and was quickly extinguished.

“There were no injuries of guests reported and the atmosphere aboard is calm,” the company claimed.

“The ship is still located 200 miles off the coast of Balikpapan, (Borneo), Indonesia, in calm seas,” the company said, adding engineers had restored power to one of the engines, restoring air conditioning, running water, plumbing and refrigeration, but that “the ship does not have propulsion capabilities at this time.”

The Azamara Quest was on a 17-night sailing that departed Hong Kong Monday, March 26, with scheduled port calls to Manila, Balikpapan (Borneo), Palapo (Sulawesi), Benoa Bali, Semarang and Komodo, Indonesia and ending in Singapore on Thursday, April 12, it said.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
| March 31, 2012 | Article Link

More Philippine Defense News

AFP Modernization 2017: Highlights and Review

The modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines was on a roll this year, as we've seen a few big ticket items having completely delivered this year. Game changers as they say, these new assets have proven their capabilities both in combat and humanitarian missions.

Here's a brief on everything what we know about the AFP modernization this 2017.

Philippine Air Force  FA-50PH


The final batch of the FA-50PH Lead-In Fighter Trainers have been successfully delivered by the Korean Aerospace Industries last May. The last batch of 2 arrived on May 31st at Clark Air Base. The contract consist of 12 FA-50's at the price of Php 18.9 billion. AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla mentioned on a March 23 article in Inquirer that there are plans to purchase 6 more additional FA-50's if the funding allows it and if the performance is good.

FA-50PH Weapons - AIM-9 Air-to-air Missiles
Aside from the aircraft itself the Department of National Defense also ordered AIM-9

DND wants frigate with 'surface-to-air' missile power

MANILA, Philippines - Defense spokesperson Peter Paul Galvez announced on Friday that one of the frigates to be acquired by the Philippines will have "surface-to-air" capabilities. That is, the ship will have the capability to fire missiles, guided by radar or heat sensors, at airborne targets.
"Aside from this, our latest frigate will have heavier gun armament and other equipment that will make it very effective in patrolling and securing the country's waters," Galvez said in Filipino.
He declined to state the particular country the Philippines will acquire this ship but stressed that acquisition will be done through a government-to-government transaction.
The Philippines has taken on a new sense of urgency to upgrade its naval capabilities as tensions continue to rise around the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). US President Barack Obama's announced "pivot" for America towards the Pacific has stirred greater naval activity on the p…

Special Forces Assault Boat and the Philippine Aerospace Development Corporation

Special Forces assault boats to beef up patrols in Davao Gulf
Special Forces assault boats will soon patrol Davao Gulf to detect and deter piracy and terrorist threats in southern waters.

Two of these boats were formally turned over by Special Forces Regiment commander Brig. Gen. Ramiro Manuel Rey to Eastern Mindanao Command chief Lt. Gen. Benjamin Madrigal in Davao City on Tuesday, the EastMinCom said in a statement.

Madrigal said the boats will be “an additional capability in securing the municipal waters in the area of responsibility, particularly Davao Gulf, to preempt terrorists, piracy and other security threats from using the sea lanes in their terrorist and criminal acts. It can also be used for water search and rescue operations.”

The boats have counter/anti-terrorist capability and will be manned by Special Forces Riverine troopers.

The boats will be initially deployed with Joint Task Force Haribon which has the jurisdiction of Mega Davao, the Eastern Mindanao Command said.

Ori…