Passengers wait for 15 hours before boat was rescued off Bohol-A A +A
Saturday, January 26, 2013
A PASSENGER vessel from Cebu headed for Camiguin Island floated adrift for 15 hours in the seawaters off Bien Unido, Bohol after its motorized steering malfunctioned yesterday.
Some of the more than 90 stranded passengers panicked and called for assistance through radio station dyHP.
At 8 a.m. yesterday, MV Super Shuttle Ferry 5 of Asian Marine Transport Corp. was rescued by its sister vessel, MV Super Shuttle Ferry 17, which guided it to the port of Mandaue City.
Captain Rolando Punzalan, the chief of the Coast Guard Station-Cebu, said they are still investigating the matter.
Asian Marine president Paul Rodriguez said that the engines of the vessel have no defect.
He said it was only the motor of the steering that had a problem, but the ship captain decided not to take any risk by going to Camiguin.
“The safety of the passengers and crew is very important to us, so the vessel with motorized steering problem decided to wait for its sister vessel to escort them back to Cebu,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez said the situation was similar to what happened to the galleon of Saint Pedro Calungsod when its steering mechanism malfunctioned.
“The galleon was guided by a tugboat to reach the destination of the Saint Pedro Calungsod fluvial parade,” Rodriguez said.
Records showed that the Maritime Industry Authority suspended the passenger ship safety certificate of MV Super Shuttle Ferry 5 after it ran aground off Bohol on its way to Camiguin in August 2006.
It resumed operation after a re-inspection and was found to be seaworthy.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 27, 2013.