Ship from CDO runs aground-A A +A
Sunday, February 24, 2013
MORE than 360 passengers were stranded at sea for four hours after a Cebu City-bound ferry ran aground off Lawis Ledge in Talisay City early yesterday morning.
The mv Trans Asia 9, a passenger ship of Trans-Asia Shipping Lines that serves the Cagayan de Oro-Cebu City route, got stalled in the shallow water at 5:15 a.m.
The captain said they miscalculated the ship’s location, said Cebu Coast Guard Commander Weniel Azcuna.
“They ran aground in that marshy area near the lighthouse,” he said. The area lies some two nautical miles off Cebu City.
Four vessels were sent to transfer the passengers from the ferry.
At 9:30 a.m., during the high tide, the ship managed to get unstuck using its own power. Some seacraft tailed it to look for signs of damage.
Azcuna said all 364 passengers, including four children, and 72 officers and crew members safely docked in Pier 5 at 10:15 a.m.
“Ako gyud silang giadto unya okay ra man kaayo, bisan ang mga tiguwang pud (I went to check on them and they seemed okay, even the elderly),” he told Sun.Star Cebu.
They were also reportedly served breakfast.
The ship left Cagayan de Oro at 8 p.m. Friday and was scheduled to arrive at 6 a.m. It was only 20 minutes away when the accident happened.
An initial investigation showed the ship crew might have committed navigational lapses as the weather was fine when it reached the shallow water.
“Kapila naman na sila mag-balik-balik diri. Kumpiyansa lang gyud siguro (They’ve passed by this area so many times. Maybe they were complacent this time),” Azcuna said.
Interviewed separately, Kenneth Sy, CEO of Trans Asia, said it was low tide when the incident happened and the officers had a hard time determining which area was deep.
Because of the incident, the ship’s trip back to Cagayan de Oro was cancelled as it needed to undergo an underwater inspection and seaworthiness test.
The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) conducted the underwater survey.
Marina 7 Director Nanette Villamor Dinopol said that because it only involved grounding and the engine is in good condition, the vessel will be allowed to sail again if there is no damage under the ship.
As a precautionary measure, the Trans Asia management immediately hired a Marina-accredited underwater surveyor to make sure the vessel had suffered no major damage.
The survey revealed that mv Trans Asia 9 sustained no damage on its hull, the shipping company told Sun.Star Cebu in a text message last night.
Several vessels have run aground in that area during low tide.
Last month, the Cebu Port Authority announced it will dredge from the vicinity of the South Road Properties to the Cebu International
Port to allow bigger vessels to enter the port area.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 24, 2013.