Those aboard turn to phones, prayers for help-A A +A
Monday, August 1, 2011
ANALIZA Masamok woke up to the sight of fellow ship passengers already wearing life jackets, and began praying for their lives.
Panic couldn’t be helped as the mv Asia-Malaysia, while on its way to Iloilo, began to sink yesterday morning.
No one was injured nor reported missing or killed. Another vessel on the Cebu-Iloilo route, the mv Filipinas Cebu of Cokaliong Shipping Lines, arrived to help passengers of the other ship, which belonged to Trans-Asia Shipping Lines.
“I was asleep. When I woke up, I thought we already arrived but I noticed the other passengers were already wearing life jackets. That’s why I was so afraid,” said Masamok, 37.
The Consolacion, Cebu resident said she and her friend Debby Dumos, 34, were going to Iloilo for a seminar. When they departed from Cebu last Saturday night, the trip began smoothly and there were no signs of any strong waves.
She did notice it was quite windy.
“Mahangin na siya, pero hindi ko lang pinansin (It was windy, but I was not worried). Who would have thought this would happen?” she said.
About 11 hours later, after she put on her lifejacket, she noticed the ship started to tilt.
“We went to the other side of the ship and held on tight to the railing,” she said. She called up her husband and told him to ask for help because they were all in danger.
“We kept on praying that nothing bad would happen to us. I called my husband and told him to call up the Coast Guard Cebu and ask for help,” she said.
Dumos, who also kept praying, recalled that at one point, she thought they were going to die.
“Habang tumagilid yung barko, hindi ko na talaga alam, akala ko katapusan na naming (When the boat kept tilting, I thought that was the end for us),” she said.
Both of them later lamented that while they were in fear’s grip, no crew from the ship assisted or informed them of what was happening.
“Sana man lang sinabihan nila kami kung ano ang nagyayari (At least they should have told us what was going on). We were clueless. It was our own interpretation of events that led us to put on our lifejackets,” Masamok said.
They had to wait a few minutes before one of the crew told them they would be transferring to another ship.
“As far as I know, I did not hear the captain give the order to abandon ship,” said Masamok.
Masamok, Dumos and the other passengers were transferred to Cokaliong’s MV Filipinas Cebu.
“Una-unahan nalang kami para makauna sa ibang barko (We jostled to try to move to the other boat first),” said Dumos.
While they were boarding a lifeboat for the transfer, one of the ropes that attached the lifeboat to the ship snapped, causing everyone to panic again.
Luckily, the crew managed the passengers’ safe transfer, even as the waves continued to rise.
On the other ship, the passengers received food.
All passengers and crew reached Iloilo safely yesterday noon.
Meanwhile, their relatives rushed to the Cebu Coast Guard station to ask what happened and check on the passengers’ safety. They were assured no one was harmed, and that everyone reached Iloilo in one piece.
“Despite what happened, I still felt lucky that I survived. Mabait parin ang Diyos at walang masamang nangyari sa amin (God, in His mercy, has kept anything bad from happening to us),” said Magsamok.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 01, 2011.