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Fact Check: Viral Video Does Not Show A Ferry Sinking Off the Coast Of Maldives Killing 1500

Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become more essential today than ever before.

Claim
Ferry sinks off the coast of the Maldives, killing 1500 people
Fact
The viral video actually shows the controlled sinking of a ferry to form artificial reefs in Brazil’s Todos-os-Santos Bay.

A 33-second video claiming to show a ferry keeling over and sinking allegedly off the coast of the Maldives is going viral on TikTok. The viral clip goes on to claim that 1500 people were killed in the tragedy. Newschecker found the claim to be misleading.

TikTok user @karnalinews1 posted a video showing a ship keeling over and sinking in the waters. Text superimposed on the video reads, “Condolences to the 1500 passengers. Ferry capsized in the Maldives, scores killed.” An alarm sound is played in the background. The archived version of the TikTok video can be seen here

The video posted on June 9 has garnered 58k likes, 1195 users have shared it and 3751 people have commented on it until the last count.

Fact Check /Verification

To check the veracity of the claim made in the viral video, Newschecker split the video into several keyframes and conducted reverse searches on them.  The results led us to an article carrying images bearing resemblance to the viral video frames. The article posted on bahianoiteedia.com was in Portuguese. We translated the article with the help of google and found that the image showed controlled sinking of Agenor Gordilho ferry to form artificial reefs in the Todos-os-Santos Bay.

Taking it as a clue, we conducted a search on facebook by using the keyword ‘Agenor Gordilho sinking’ and found several videos whose frames closely matched the viral video. On checking a video published on Facebook by an ID named Jorge Pina on 24 November, 2020, we found that the video frame resembled the viral video.

Further, we also conducted a search on YouTube by using relevant keywords and found a video published on the channel named László Mocsári on 23 November, 2020, whose caption revealed that the 71-m long ferry boat Agenor Gordilho was sunk just under a mile in front of the Yatch Clube da Bahia in Salvador, Brazil.

We also found an article published on safety4sea.com detailing the controlled sinking of the ferry. The article also carried several videos showing the assisted sinking of the vessel aimed at forming artificial reefs in order to favour the marine habitat and attract tourists and professional divers.

Then, we looked up news if there was any recent ferry tragedy in the Maldives but didn’t find any results.

Conclusion

The viral video purporting to show a ferry keeling over and sinking off the coast of the Maldives killing 1500 people, actually shows November 2020 assisted sinking of a vessel near the shore of Salvador, Brazil and is thus misleading.

Result: False

Sources
bahianoiteedia.com, 19 December, 2022
László Mocsári /YouTube, 23 Nov, 2020
Jorge Pina /Facebook, 24 Nov, 2020
Safety4sea.com, 24 Nov, 2020


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Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become more essential today than ever before.

Sanjeeb Phuyal
Sanjeeb Phuyal
Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become more essential today than ever before.

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