All Trans-Asia vessels suspended

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011


CEBU CITY (Updated 12:12 p.m.) -- The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) on Tuesday suspended operations of all Trans-Asia Shipping Lines Inc. vessels after the sinking incident Sunday.

Lawyer Jose Cabatingan, Marina-Central Visayas public information officer, said starting today, Tuesday, all Trans-Asia shipping lines in Visayas and Mindanao will not be allowed to operate.

In line with the suspension order is the re-inspection of safety standards of the shipping lines.

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Cabatingan said a shipping line that will not undergo inspection cannot be allowed to operate.

The M/V Asia Malaysia owned by the Trans-Asia listed to its starboard (right) side at 4 a.m. Sunday while in the vicinity of Calabasa Island between Guimaras and Bacolod.

All 107 passengers and 44 crew members and ancillary employees on board the vessel were rescued shortly before it sank.

The vessel departed 6:30 p.m. from the Cebu City port last July 30 after it was inspected and cleared by the Coast Guard Cebu District.

The M/V Asia-Malaysia was supposed to reach Iloilo at 7 a.m.

The Marina has given the M/V Asia Malaysia management 72 hours to explain the reason why the incident happened.

However, the management insisted big waves and strong winds caused the sinking incident.

Kenneth Sy, president and general manager of Trans-Asia, also said the shipping company has attended to the needs of the passengers who were rescued shortly before the vessel sank last Sunday morning.

Sy also said they are now working on the immediate removal of the vessel.

Trans-Asia Shipping Lines Inc. also allayed fears of an oil spill in the vicinity of Calabasa Island in Iloilo and assured there are no signs that fuel may be leaking from the M/V Asia-Malaysia. (Sunnex)

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