When I heard that a ferry with 865 passengers onboard had sunk in the waters off Sibuyen Island in the central Philippines during Typhoon Fengshen, I set about trying to get there. My best bet was to hitch a ride on a Philippine Airforce helicopter.


So at 05:30 I was at a Manila airforce base, hoping to accompany the first flight of the search and rescue operation. All I had were the clothes on my back, a laptop, a satellite phone and one camera body.


My other camera body had been also been casualty of Typhoon Fengshen when it hit Manila but I was concerned that they would bump me off the flight if I carried too much.

At 07:00, I was still on the ground but with no sign of the opposition I worried that maybe they had hired their own aircraft and were already ahead of me. However, shortly afterwards we were on our way to Sibuyan Island.

After an hour and a half of flying, we caughtour first sight of the capsized ferry, the MV Princess of the Stars. I immediately began shooting pictures, but when I had done I was struck by the realisation  that the ship was still full of the bodies of the victims.