1. says

    I was skeptical so I did a google image search and spent a while looking at pictures of ferry boats. That one does look like it may have a bit of extension added into it – for one thing it’s a bit sway-backed near the stern and real boats generally aren’t that flexible. Also, that’s impractically long for a short-distance ferry; it looks like a mini supertanker and ferry docks aren’t generally that long. Since I did not find a single other image of a ferry that long, I remain skeptical.

    This one looks very plausible (not blurred, plausible size, etc, and difficult angle to composite) and it’s scary as hell:
    Looks like the scupper is about a foot above water level. A good bow-wake from another boat could swamp it.

  2. says

    Addendum – I did find lots and lots of scary pictures of insanely overcrowded ferry-sized ferries. I am not trying to minimize the problem; I suspect that some heartless person with photoshop is making the already bad look worse.

  3. jesse says

    FYI riverboats tend t have pretty shallow drafts. Most Bangladeshi traffic is on rivers anyway (the Bramaputra delta is really big). Riverboats can be quite long and barge-like, and are not much more than rafts a lot of the time, the barges on the Hudson or Mississippi look kind of like that, though I can’t judge the true length of the one in the pic. Point is, they aren’t supposed to be in choppy water in any case and a river isn’t going to have waves that big, and the trips aren’t that long. Not that a bad accident can’t happen, but it’s worth noting that a boat going into the Bay of Bengal on a trip to Malaysia isn’t going to look much like that, usually.

    On another note, it’s actually really hard to sink a raft or barge. This is why the old timey riverboats on the Mississippi looked the way they did. Short of putting holes in the hull — a lot of holes — a boat like that will get washed, but it won’t sink a la the Titanic. So like on a raft, your feet get wet but you won’t go under.

  4. lorn says

    If the photo is Photoshopped it hasn’t been stretched by much if any. The photo provided by Marcus Ranum @ #1 shows a boat with 22 arches on the second deck. The original one shows 26 before the crop. Adding a bit more than 20% seems mighty random. If you were going for a joke, or parody, or open ridicule, I would think the picture would be manipulated to a much greater extreme.

  5. says

    See also the MV Maria Carmelo which sunk in 2012, a smaller but similar looking vessel:

    The MV Dona Paz was a very different looking ferry with a high nose, not prone to large waves as the one in the picture. But it sunk in 1987 anyway, more than 4300 people died, earning it the dubious nickname, the “Asian Titanic”. The boat was vastly overcrowded (estimates say twice the approved capacity), many dying because there was no room to move and find the few lifejackets or get to the outside deck.

    I’ve been on two ferries in the Philippines, but mine was a vastly different experience…mainly because I had the money to pay for the more expensive, newer and better regulated ships. No doubt such disasters are due to cut rate (read: cut throat) business practices and thin profit margins when the passengers are mostly the poor. Every extra passenger is more money made, if the boat makes it to its destination.

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