View Full Version : Tongan tragedy

John B
08-06-2009, 02:09 PM
This is just horrific. A ferry has rolled at sea and sunk in a minute after cargo has shifted ( they say).
All the women and children sleeping or sheltering inside have perished.


Ian McColgin
08-06-2009, 02:29 PM
While no way of dieing at sea is especially desirable, this is particularly sad.

08-06-2009, 03:26 PM
Sad indeed. :(

08-06-2009, 03:27 PM
Oh Lord!

08-07-2009, 11:14 PM
According to the radio, the list of missing is now up to 85.

Assume it is not best practice to combine cargo with passengers, but if there is only one vessel then there would be little choice. Sad story. Seems that a seemingly simple thing, not securing cargo securely enough can have horrific consequences. As they say, it pays to do things right.

John B
08-07-2009, 11:48 PM
The numbers just keep climbing.. now they're talking about 117 who were aboard.

Pardon me.. 141


08-08-2009, 12:11 AM
Worse and worse ....then the Tongan King went on holidays an hour after the sinking , to Scotland for a while .

Trouble is brewing in Tonga .

08-08-2009, 06:41 AM
From memory they said they rescued about 60 people. Add that to about 85 presumed lost, gives an approximate total of 140 originally on board.

So that is that. Not too much can be done about it now..Oh well, move on I guess (not a nice thought to have,... but is there an alternative?)

08-08-2009, 07:03 AM
For those that have spent any amount of time in that part of the world this is a fairly common occurrence. It may involve trucks or buses.....or boats with e same/similar outcome.

John B
08-08-2009, 03:01 PM
This isn't some fishing boat Chuck , its a substantial commercial ferry.
The only photo I've seen showed a roll on bow.Pictures of it seem to be hard to find.
Anyway.. it keeps climbing as they believe babies and children were off manifest.

here it is.

08-08-2009, 03:11 PM
I know, John....I've seen 32 passenger buses roll off a mountainside road and the death toll was 100 plus.....trucks, loaded with bananas or coconuts colliding or going over a cliff with reported deaths/injuries of 25-30 etc....folks hanging on all over.

Michael Beckman
08-08-2009, 03:33 PM
Having just come from Tonga I'm not really surprised. But it's still sad.

08-09-2009, 02:53 AM
Now it's 149 on board with 93 missing......very sad indeed.

08-09-2009, 07:39 AM
There's a reason we have to go through so many hoops and inspections in the US, Oz, and many other countries ... we tend to avoid things like this.


08-11-2009, 01:58 AM
On tonights news it was said that the ship was out of survey and there was no plimsoll line.
The wreck has been located but is in 100 meters of water so recovery of the bodies still inside the ship is unlikely.

One of our family members is Tongan and thankfully none of his Tongan relatives were involved. Even though the numbers lost is quite small (more will probably die in the current Typhoon) this is a big tragedy for a small nation.

The first political casualty has been the Transport Minister.
We'll see if more follow, I don't like the Prime Ministers chances after his "a captain shouldn't take his ship out if it is not safe" quote.

John B
08-11-2009, 02:30 AM
The skipper was on TV last night and said commercial pressure forced them to use it and that the bow section around the door was rusty.
Also that the sea state was only about a metre.

The Bigfella
08-12-2009, 01:11 AM
They've found her....


08-12-2009, 01:23 AM
The boat was bought from Fiji and was designed as a RORO for sheltered waters. It's been said by the author of a draft report on the Princess Ashika that there was a problem with rust and a lack of tie-down points.
He also refered to the boat at the time of the report as a 'floating grave'.

08-12-2009, 06:38 AM
For those whom may be interested in finding out the "why" in such incidents where seemingly large and safe roll-on/roll-off (Ro-Ro) ferries suddenly capsize and sink in minutes, Google "MV Estonia" and "free surface effects on stability". Interesting, if somewhat gruesome, reading...

John B
08-12-2009, 02:07 PM
The initial reports said big seas and shifting cargo .
Now its a 1m sea ( according to the Capt)and a rusty hull letting water below, no seals on the doors and no lashdowns for the cargo, and a type 'designed for sheltered waters'.
I sounds to me that they had the water doing its free surface thing below as well as on deck .
The Capt went under with the ship as it rolled . He was in the wheel house , escaped out of a hatch with the vessel either inverted or nearly so and swam to the surface from a few metres down.

08-15-2009, 01:25 AM
The Princess Ashika's sistership the Ovalau sank in Fiji in 2003.....maintenance may have been an issue in that sinking.
What's the bet that nothing had improved?