2GO vessel hits anchored ship-A A +A
Saturday, October 12, 2013
A PASSENGER ship carrying 742 passengers hit yesterday a freighter that was moored at Mactan Channel off Cebu City.
Cebu Coast Guard Station Commander Weniel Azcuna said m/v Pope John Paul II of 2GO Travel skidded towards m/v RKK 2 of RKK Shipping Lines due to strong winds and big waves at 9:45 a.m.
The 2Go vessel only made a dent on the railings of m/v RKK 2.
The incident occurred nearly two months after 2Go’s passenger vessel m/v St. Thomas Aquinas sank after colliding with cargo ship Sulpicio Express Siete at Lauis Ledge off Talisay City. The accident resulted in the death of 116 passengers and crew of the Aquinas, and an oil spill that killed mangroves in Cordova, Cebu.
Azcuna said the 15,223-gross tonnage m/v Pope John Paul left Pier 6 in Cebu City at 9:30 a.m. for Cagayan De Oro City.
Pope John Paul II slowed down while navigating its way out of the channel because of an oncoming vessel from Cokaliong Shipping Lines. But due to the big waves and the strong wind, it veered towards the freighter, scraping the starboard side of the other vessel, which was moored 500 meters away from Pier 1.
The starboard of the ship is the right side of the passenger when facing the front or bow of the vessel.
Despite what happened, Capt. Ricardo Ababa of Pope John Paul decided to proceed to the ship’s destination because its damage was only minor.
“If the captain believes the ship is still safe to sail, he can proceed," Azcuna said.
But five ships canceled trips yesterday because of bad weather.
M/V Don Carlos was grounded at Pier 4 and stopped issued tickets for Manila. M/V Aznar 2, bound for San Carlos City; m/v Leonor 2 and m/v Roro 1 bound for Dumaguete City; and motorboat Ave Maria 5, bound to Leyte, also canceled their trips.
Azcuna pointed out, though, that Ababa should have called the Coast Guard about the incident, no matter how minor it was. He said Coast Guard did not receive any call and learned about the incident from the media.
Azcuna said the skipper should submit a marine protest to the Coast Guard within 24 hours from an incident.
He said Ababa can file his report as soon as the ship arrives in Cagayan De Oro City.
He assured that the incident is no cause for alarm as no one was hurt.
He said it is premature to say that the skipper and crew of m/v Pope John Paul II had been negligent as the Coast Guard still has to hear from them.
In a press statement, 2Go Travel said a tug boat was requested to move the vessels away from each other.
Angelito Salvio, 2Go's assistant vice president for shipping management, said they communicating with the owners of RKK 2 regarding the damage.
One of the crew of RKK 2, Romeo Banagbanag, told reporters that the vessel was anchored at 12 p.m. as it was waiting to be loaded.
The freighter is transports construction materials in different parts of the country. It had a crew of 19 when the accident occurred.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 12, 2013.