By Evelyn Macairan
The Philippine Star, September 02, 2010
Four sea marshals who showed bravery as they assisted the
passengers of M/V SuperFerry 9 that sank off the Zamboanga
Peninsula last year, will receive commendations from the
London-based International Maritime Organization (IMO) in
Commodore Luis Tuason Jr., Philippine Coast Guard-National
Capital Region (PCG-NCR) district commander, identified the
four as Coast Guard Petty Officer Second Class Samuel Boniol,
Navy Petty Officer Third Class Anifer Bucao, and Seaman First
Class Oliver Cogo and SPO3 Loreto Justo of the Philippine
National Police-Maritime Group.
Tuason, who also supervises Task Force Sea Marshal, said they
will receive the 2010 IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea
on Nov. 24 at the IMO headquarters in London.
The four sea marshals were on board M/V SuperFerry9 when it
capsized off the Zamboanga Peninsula in the early morning of
Sept. 6 last year.
The IMO recognized the sea marshals’ actions and bravery during
the actual evacuation, disembarkation and rescue of the passengers
and crew members of the ill-fated vessel.
Investigation showed that M/V SuperFerry 9, owned by Aboitiz
Transport Services Corp., left General Santos on Sept. 5, 2009 for
a two-day voyage to Iloilo. It was expected to arrive at the Iloilo
port at around 1 p.m. the following day.
However, at around 3:30 a.m. of Sept. 6, the vessel tilted 25
degrees toward its starboard side. The ship’s captain, Jose Yap,
made an “abandon ship” call, but some of the passengers opted to
wait for the sun to shine before jumping into the water, thinking
this would make it easier for search and rescue vessels to see and
The ship sank at around 9:30 a.m. or six hours after the passengers
were told to abandon it. More than 900 people survived while 10 were
The four sea marshals assisted the passengers in wearing their life
vests and advised them to stay calm while the life rafts were being
lowered into the water.
They, along with Yap, were the last to jump into the water as the
ship began to sink.
It was PCG commandant Admiral Wilfredo Tamayo, when he was still
a captain, who formed Task Force Sea Marshal in response to threats to passenger ships.
It was created after the bombing of M/V SuperFerry 14 on Feb. 27, 2004, which left 116 people dead.