Cargo vessel tilts but remains afloat-A A +A
Saturday, March 23, 2013
A ROLL-ON ROLL-OFF cargo vessel tilted on its side while loading cargo at Pier 8 in Mandaue City around 11 p.m. last Thursday.
The mv Super Shuttle Ferry 8 lost its balance when its hull touched the bottom of the sea during low tide, said Philippine Coast Guard (PCG)-Cebu Station Commander Weniel Azcuna.
The 20,000-ton vessel, owned by the Asian Marine Transport Corp., was scheduled to depart for Davao City once the cargo loading was completed.
All 45 ship officials and crew members were able to safely evacuate the vessel, which carried container vans and vehicles.
Azcuna, in a phone interview, said the crew would have to wait for high tide for the ship to regain its upright position.
“The crew is now trying to lighten the vessel by unloading cargo,” Azcuna said.
The shipping firm sent another ship with a crane for the unloading of shipment.
Super Shuttle Ferry 8 was the only vessel docked in the private port when the incident happened. Although it tilted on one side, water could not enter the vessel.
“Based on our ocular inspection, there is a remote possibility that the ship will capsize like what happened to the mv Maria Angelica Grace,” Azcuna said.
Last March 11, mv Maria Angelica Grace capsized off a private wharf in Barangay Looc Mandaue while loading cargo. Only the vessel’s hull is visible above water.
Azcuna said they have advised Capt. Renato Sato of the Super Shuttle Ferry 8 to file a marine protest before the PCG.
Once the ship regains its normal position, divers accredited by the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) will inspect the hull to check for damages.
The ship will have to get a certificate of seaworthiness from Marina before the PCG allows it to sail again, said Azcuna.
“We are monitoring and supervising the refloating operation,” he said.
Based on their initial assessment, Azcuna said the crew observed proper loading procedures.
“The cargoes on board were properly secured,” he said.
“We have been advising ships owners to strictly follow their ship loading manual. This manual is peculiar to each vessel,” Azcuna said.
He said he will recommend to the owner of Pier 8 to make the berthing area deeper to avoid a similar incident from happening again.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 23, 2013.