Traffic enforcers for ships?-A A +A
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
THE captains of the passenger ferry and cargo vessel that collided Friday night, leaving at least 62 dead and 57 still missing, blamed each other for the accident.
Rolito Gilo of the Sulpicio Express Siete said he radioed the other vessel to prevent a collision, but received no answer.
But Reynan Bermejo of the St. Thomas Aquinas said it was the Sulpicio Express Siete’s fault because the latter failed to follow a traffic separation scheme and occupied the inbound lane, even if it was outbound.
Isn’t it time to have a traffic enforcer for ships?
Traffic enforcers maintain order in busy streets choking with motor vehicles. Airports have control towers with operators for an orderly landing and taking off of planes.
Perhaps nobody thought of having a control tower for sea vessels because the sea is wide enough for them.
But Commodore William Melada, district commander of the Philippine Coast Guard in Central Visayas, said some portions of the south entrance of the Cebu harbor is only 600 meters wide.
Who’s going to stop a vessel whose captain, like a jeepney driver, will resort to “paugat”?
A Sun.Star Cebu report the sinking of at least eight passenger vessels owned by various shipping lines in the past 26 years has claimed more than 6,500 lives.
The collision in December 1987 involving M/V Doña Paz of Sulpicio Lines Inc., now Philippine Span Asia, and oil tanker M/T Vector in the seawaters off Mindoro, resulted in the death of 4,386 Doña Paz passengers, making it the world’s worst peacetime maritime disaster.
Ships sink during either bad or good weather.
But who needs a collision?
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 21, 2013.