‘We took care of passengers’

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013


THE management of Trans- Asia Shipping Lines yesterday said that all the 677 passengers on board Mv Trans Asia 5, which suffered engine trouble while navigating Dakit Point in Siquijor, were all safe and taken care of by the company.

Abner Llenos, Trans Asia Human Resource Manager and Designated Person Ashore(DPA), said the ship captain decided to switch off the engine instead of allowing it to continue to run after a spare part was rendered useless.

Llenos said they already ordered the spare part and once the defective one will be replaced, they will request the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) to conduct a re-inspection and re-audit to determine its seaworthiness.

Llenos said Mv Asia Pacific, their cargo vessel, was sent to bring food, water and whatever assistance it can extend to Mv Trans Asia 5 passengers.

The shipping companies also sent tug boats to tow the vessel to Cebu City.

“All the passengers were served breakfast and lunch. They were also given water to drink,” Llenos said.

Marina 7 Director Nanette Villamor-Dinopol said the marine specialists from her office will conduct the re-inspection and re-audit once they will receive a request.

Message

Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak received a text message from a woman, whose husband was among the Mv Trans Asia 5 passengers, informing him that the rescue arrived at around midnight the other night.

However, they remained stranded because the ropes used to pull the vessel was cut off.

Lt. Sgt. Robinson Madriaga of the Philippine Coast Guard Central Visayas Command, said all passengers and Mv Trans Asia 5 vessel are safe.

Llenos said their company is trying its best to be a world-class shipping company by implementing the International Safety Management (ISM) Code as mandated by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) of the United Nations.

Implementation

The implementation started in October 2012 and if they believe that they are already compliant to the ISM Code, they will request Marina to conduct the necessary evaluation.

Llenos said what happened to Mv Trans Asia 5 will be included in the evaluation on all of their eight vessels.

“We are not hiding anything here. We are not like other shipowners and operators whose vessels ran aground, but kept it secret,” Llenos said.

In the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda, Trans Asia sent a vessel to Tacloban City for a humanitarian trip to bring relief goods to Leyte and bring survivors to Cebu City free of charge.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 17, 2013.

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