This morning I was trying to find articles with real time and genuine insight into the ferry disaster off Tanzania.  

An old vessel called the Spice Islander grossly overloaded with over 1,000 passengers sank.  There have been around two hundred people pulled from the water dead and some 600 rescued.

I kept finding one detached articles after another from the mainstream press, many erroneously publishing a photograph of a ferry from the Philippines.  Finally I stumbled across an article "Tragedy Unfolds as Passenger Ferry Capsizes off Zanzibar" which was published by Storyful which aggregates content from Twitter.#Zanzibarboataccident #Zanzibar - Spice Islander - Sinking - Zanzibar

The Twitter hashtag following the disaster is #Zanzibarboataccident as well as #Zanzibar

I then began to follow @Tanganyikan who has been tweeting updates and uploading compelling photographs of children rescued from the water as well as tense families waiting for word on whether their loved ones are dead or alive.

I also ran across a tweet from @GregHuntoon "Thanks to those who’ve been trying to deliver the signal over the mass media’s noise"  He referred to @mpoppel @Arabinizer @Rasahi as well as @Tanganyikan

@Rasahi uploaded an accurate photo of Spice Islander which looks like an old rust bucket.

Twitter has indeed delivered information and photographs over the mass media noise.  Images of children thought to be lost at sea yet held high above jubilant rescuers, some wearing wet suits. 

You won’t find these type of stories and images of joy and sorrow in Reuters or the AP.


Survivor List

Zanzibar Outreach Program


Photo credit: @Tanganyikan

  • junior

    I believed that cause of the ship was sunk was water ingress in machinery space. I saw her last a week ago at beach to repair / welding job due to hole at mechinary space.

  • Sue

    We were on the Kilimanjaro Ferry leaving Stonetown to Dar and we passed the MV Sprice Islander at about 1pm on the 10th and my husband took 3 x photos. Could these photos be of any use to anybody??

  • Nyomolelo

    The government that we have is just theoretical due to the statement that “They don’t know even the owner of Mv Spice Islander” something which is very wrong to casualties and relatives of those who have died.
    The government should be very serious on this due to the committee have been made to investigate the source of an accident.

  • reward

    is it true that it was not cheked since 2010

  • Onother shocking news, the Mv. Spice islander that has been sunk 300 miters deep in Zanzibar, it just came up by it self yesterday 28/03/2012 durring the evening time, the government have sent some versels today to go and check it out, it doesnt make sense to me how can it be unsunk by it self. Man this means something.