31 March, 2006

Update # 7 Tourist Ship Sinks in Bahrain

This is a list of survivors that I have received today. Will update more - as and when - I get hold of more information.

Filipinos who have survived:
Lilia Hermoso
Bayani Hermoso
Lanette Salgado
Segunda Siena
Hyacinth Dacay Perez
Abigail Silva
Pamela Belardo

Bahraini Survivors:
Khalil Mirza

Indian Survivors:
Jaikumar George

Source:ABC News

Singaporean Survivors:
Ng Khee Seong
Cindy Liau

Source:Channel News Asia

Update# 6: Tourist Ship Sinks in Bahrain

I was blogging previously here, but I've decided to pool efforts at CSF II along with Ashish Gorde who's also in Bahrain and lost a friend in Thursday night's boat tragedy.

Following information on the body count was posted by Murray & Roberts Group Chief Executive Brian Bruce, he's the CEO of the company that is the lead contractor for Bahrain's WTC and whose employees had organized the boat party which has unfortunately been ruined by the tragic aftermath:

David Evans - Project Chairman (United Kingdom)
Will Nolan - Project Director (United Kingdom)
Stephen Grady - Finishes Manager (United Kingdom)
Chris Braysher - Commercial Manager (South Africa and United Kingdom)
Jimmy Allen - Design Coordinator (South Africa)
Lawrence Sulman - Project Engineer (South Africa)
Alan Jeppe - Engineering Surveyor (South Africa)
Cathy Judd - Partner (South Africa)

In a statement on the website Bruce has mentioned that the process of engagement with the families of the one Pakistani and two Indian employees is continuing. Murray & Roberts executives have today engaged with the families of the deceased employees from South Africa and United Kingdom and will work with them through this period of tragic loss. The survivors of the tragedy will also be supported as they come to terms with their own experiences and the loss of friends and colleagues.

Based on information to hand, 57 people are confirmed as dead. In all, more than 50 senior employees from various companies working on the World Trade Centre Project have been lost. Commenting on the tragedy, Brian said that they have initiated a process that will investigate the decision leading to the choice of event to celebrate the project milestone of structural completion.

For further information, you may reach Brian on +27 (0)11 456 6281 / fax +27 (0)86 637 0113 or email

Update# 5: Tourist Ship Sinks in Bahrain

More hotline numbers are coming in for those who wish to find out more information on missing relatives and friends of the boat tragedy that happened last night here in Bahrain:

The Indian embassy has set up two telephone lines - 00973-39280216 (Counsellor H.R Mohi) and 00973-39745640 (Second secretary R. Ragunathan)

Those passengers who have been rescued are being taken to the Salamaniya Medical Complex - 00973-17-255555 - and the Bahrain Coast Guard can be reached on 00973-39413413 and 00973-17-718888.

Update# 4: Tourist Ship Sinks in Bahrain

The following hotline information for tracing relatives and missing persons just came in:
British nationals – contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (London) on 020 7008 1500 and ask for the Crisis Unit. All other nationals should contact their respective Embassies in the UK.

Enquirers who cannot contact their Embassy directly due to political or personal reasons, can contact the Red Cross international tracing and message service on 0845 053 2004.

Some more pics from last night's rescue operations:

[[my appologies to all the folks who are pulling my rss and xml feed, the previous post had images of 1.4mb eachwhich explains why the feed or page loads very slow]]

Update# 3: Tourist Ship Sinks in Bahrain

Here are some pics from today morning's relief and rescue operations conducted by the Bahriani Royal Navy and Airforce as well as the Coastguard and US Naval ER Crews, the pics have been captured off witness/amateur video footage and that's the reason they're not quite clear -- my appologies for that. Thanks to Colin at for providing the bandwidth and space to host these images:

30 March, 2006

Update #2: Tourist Ship Sinks in Bahrain

Today morning, the Gulf Daily News (GDN) have filed detailed reports (design of boat in question, National Emergency Health coordination, search for relatives, majority of vicitms are asians) into last night's boat tragedy. Their report puts the death toll as 48 with 27 people injured and 63 alive. Reuters, however, have placed the death toll at 57 and 67 survivors according to an Al Jazeera report quoting an Interior Ministry spokesperson. Initial reports that had come out last night from sources on the scene had it that there were 150 people on board, the the GDN have the right figure as 130 people. SAR operations are ongoing by the Bahraini Royal Navy & Airforce, Coastguard patrols and the US Naval Support crews.

An AP Wire item states that Bahraini surivior - Khalil Mirza was teh passenger who alerted the Coastguard about the boat capsizing in a call to them from his cell phone. "People were scared in the water," he said. "They were fighting with each other and screaming."

(first person to be rescued after the boat cpasiized)

The boat had capsized in between the Mina Salman Port and Muharraq which explains why parts of the Sitra Bridge were cordoned off, yesterday. The boat had a capacity for 100 passengers, but there were around 130 on board. It has een said that, most of those who died drowned. The boating trip had been organised by Nass, Murray and Roberts to celebrate the completion of the concrete structure of the Bahrain World Trade Center (BWTC). Nass, Murray and Roberts are the lead contractors for the BWTC towers.

(Bahrain's Prime Minister at the scene of the accident monitoring a detailed investigation)

Nationality count has been reported by The Telegraph as 25 Britons, 20 Filipinos, 10 South Africans and 10 Egyptians while Bahrain's Health Minister Nada Haffadh in a statement to Al Jazeera has stated that 30 of the rescued were hospitalised including 17 Indians, four Britons, two South Africans, two Filipinos, and one each from Italy, China, Thailand and Bahrain. The British Embassy has confirmed that British nationals are among those missing.

(Injured survivors were taken to hospital, but bodies continued to be brought ashore)

News24 in South Africa has stated that while 7 South Africans have been found, six others are reported to have been among those who died although initial reports indicated that 13 South African were among the 150 passengers on board. This report filed by IOL in South Africa details the scenes of relatives and survivors breaking down the scene last night right after SAR ops had begun.

(At the Salmainya medical centre in the Bahraini capital, Manama, doctors tried to reassure survivors and worried relatives and friends)

Meanwhile the Department of Foreign Affairs in the Philippines have confirmed that of the 20 Filipinos that were aboard the vessel, 3 have been rescued.

This just in: the newsreader on - radio bahrain has just announced that those who have been rescued now stands at 70 - 11.01 am.

1) A hot line has been set up by the Interior Ministry for people seeking information about their relatives, friends who were on board, If you're inside Bahrain, please dial 1-777-00000, if you're calling from overseas, please dial

2) For Singaporean nationals, please call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who have set up a hotline at their duty office in Singapore and are assisting those affected by the tragedy on
6379 8800 / 6379 8855 if you're calling from Singapore and if you're calling from overseas please dial 0065-6379-8800 / 0065-6379-8855 or email

UPDATE#1: Tourist Ship Sinks in Bahrain

Some reports have the time the incident occured as 8pm while others have it at 9.30pm local time. Both have not been confirmed, also the location has been cited as close to Muhrarraq. Also there is a misleading report going around to news agencies that there have been 1,200 feared dead, this is not at all true, completely false, because there is a confirmed report that there were only 150 tourists aboard the ferry of which 60 have survived. This incident has now made it to Wiki News, you may find more details on it there.

SAR (Search And Rescue) spokersperson on site have confirmed in a statement to CNN Arabia's Correspondent - Caroline Faraj that the capacity on the ferry was 60-70 people at the max and 150 people meant the ferry was overbooked -- this has been cited as one of the reasons behind the disaster.

More details are said to follow in an hour. The vessel is a local daily shuttle. No names have been released yet.

Officials from the Interior Ministry are at the scene and have begun a full investigation into the ship's sinking, the area around Mina Salman is currently cordoned off, so I'd suggest anyone planning to go there not to do so, use alternative roads instead to go to whever you need to.

Majority of the tourists were westerners including locals. Rescue personnel have managed to get most of those who survived to the hospitals, some bodies were seen coming out of the water according to sources at the scene. Majority of the people are still missing, the death toll so far is 44. Focus is currently on search and recue, bare details are being provided to media agencies, not many confirmations of reports that MSM is flinging around.

[yahoo - pic credits]

This just came in that 63 people have been rescued, the Ministry of Health, US Naval Support crews and Bahraini Navy and Coast guard are all coordinating the relief efforts and SAR is ongoing. If you have access to CNN International or BBC World TV Channels, I'd suggest you to tune into them because they both are having live phone calls with reporters on the scene and the officials from the Ministry Of Health/Ministry Of Interior.

Tourist Ship Sinks in Bahrain [Blogging Live]

At approximately 8pm local time here in Bahrain, a ferry sunk near Sitra. It was a boat carrying around 150 tourists - locals and expats alike. There are about 60 people who have said to have survived thought search and recue operations by the Bahraini coast guard and the US navy is continuing as I blog.

Here's the bbc report

I'm posting pics off the CNN broadcast and will have a link to a short interview with a correspondant from Dubai via a google video soon. I'll continue posting updates till we have something online from teh GDN tomorrow. Thanks to Bala for the heads up on this all the way from New Jersey. Apparenty every other news agency is posting an AP report whcih is making its way around the wires. Google Earth is being used by some of the news agencies to explore the waters of Bahrain and the location of the incident - here's the KML file that's being used.


[NOTE: I'm not a member of main stream media, this is citizen media provided for informational purposes ONLY!]

28 March, 2006

Put the news back in the newspaper

An opinion is what I ask. Take a stand. Take sides. Kill the neutral. Kill impartiality. Play one against the other. Kill your darlings. Kill mediocrity. Do anything, but for goodness sake, don't ever kill the newspaper!

You see, I grew up with newspapers by my side. I read them like I read my Archie comics. But I no longer like them. I no longer look forward to the act. It's a duty now. Not lust. And that began when you stopped putting news into the newspaper. In its stead, nubile starlets and hefty goons. From Pages 1 to 16. And more.

But we've all covered this territory before. And, dare I say it, we'll be covering it again. Again. Again, till somebody finally realises that no news, is in fact, bad news. And that's when newspapers will no more be Archie’s.

02 March, 2006


Doesn't seem to be much enthusiasm for this blog. Time to shut it down?