2Go appeals BMI findings on collision

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Thursday, September 4, 2014


THE management of 2Go Group Inc. has appealed the decision of the Board of Marine Inquiry (BMI) regarding the collision of St. Thomas Aquinas and Sulpicio Express Siete last Aug. 16, 2013 in Lauis Ledge off Cebu City port.

In a letter to the transportation department, 2Go Group vice president Lito Salvio said the BMI findings failed to give due regard to the fact that Sulpicio Express Siete wrongly occupied the inbound lane, thus creating the risk of collision, and did nothing to avoid the collision.

Sulpicio was supposed to use the outbound lane of the Traffic Separation System (TSS) in the Mactan Channel because it was exiting the channel and bound for Davao City.

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On the other hand, Aquinas had to use the inbound lane because it was going to the Cebu City port from Nasipit, Agusan del Norte.

The skipper of Trans Asia 9, which overtook Sulpicio prior to the incident, and the master of the vessel of Oceanjet, which was bound for Cebu City port, testified during the investigation by the Special Board of Marine Inquiry (SBMI), chaired by Commodore Gilbert Rueras, that, indeed, Sulpicio was sailing within the inbound lane of the TSS.

Salvio said that Aquinas was, therefore, trapped between Sulpicio and Lauis Ledge.

The 2Go Group management, however, refrained from discussing its position in the appeal because of the “sub judice” rule, which restricts comments and disclosures pertaining to pending judicial proceedings.

The BMI findings, on the other hand, are not binding on the courts since the latter will have to determine the party at fault and the damages to be paid.

In addition, the BMI findings are not yet final and cannot be invoked by anyone.

“The tragedy was a painful experience. The 2Go Group management has gone out of its way to empathize and reach out in terms of compensation and mitigation to all who were adversely affected. We also hope the truth will prevail,” said Salvio in a press statement.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 05, 2014.

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