Coast Guard halts overloaded ships in Zambo, Basilan

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Saturday, December 28, 2013

MANILA – Three overloaded commercial shipping vessels were held by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in Basilan and Zamboanga City during the peak of the holiday season.

Commander Armando Balilo, Coast Guard Public Affairs chief, said that personnel from Coast Guard Sub-Station Basilan discovered while conducting a mandatory pre-departure inspection on Friday that M/V Stephanie Marie has 272 unmanifested passengers.

Less than two hours later, the ship was allowed to depart the port of Basilan and sailed to Zamboanga City after carrying the authorized number of passengers - 861 adults, 28 children and two infants.

The vessel safety enforcement inspection team of the Coast Guard Station Zamboanga also discovered that M/V Ciara Joie Two was overloaded with 118 unmanifested passengers while M/V Trisha Kerstin One was also overloaded with 79 passengers.

Balilo said they will further intensify its campaign against maritime violations such as overloading of passengers, and encourage the riding public to report violations of this nature, and even “colorum” vessels to proper authorities.

The PCG spokesperson also appealed to ship owners, operators and local port authorities and terminal to adapt the airline procedures such as providing cut off time for embarkation of passengers and loading of cargo, devising a system for the safe and orderly conduct of boarding of passengers, and prevent the carriage of excess passengers and vessel overloading.

“The airline [ticketing] model in maritime transportation will not only help in the promotion of safety of life and property at sea, but also prevent unnecessary delays in the departure of vessels,” Balilo said.

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