Ship runs aground in Leyte; 221 rescued-A A +A
Thursday, August 23, 2012
TACLOBAN CITY -- The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has safely rescued the 221 passengers and crew of M/V Super Shuttle Ferry 15 that ran aground off the coast of Merida, Leyte late Tuesday night.
Probationary Ensign Jamaal Aceron, the officer–in-charge at the PCG Ormoc when the incident happened, said the passenger ship encountered engine problem around 11:05 p.m. on Tuesday, two hours after it left the Ormoc port for Cebu City.
“All passengers and crews are now safe and the company facilitated their travel to Cebu City this morning. Four PCG personnel are now in the boat to conduct investigation,” Aceron said.
Of the 221 on board, 185 are passengers and 36 crews. Aceron said six passengers stayed in the boat until Thursday afternoon to watch for their cargoes.
Tug boats were deployed by PCG midnight to rescue stranded passengers and brought them to the nearest sea port in Isabel, Leyte. Company-owned M/V Super Shuttle Ferry 23 also aided the rescue efforts.
The PCG also sought the assistance of local police to secure the area while passengers were waiting for rescue team.
“The vessel was checked prior to departure but unexpectedly it encountered auxiliary engine trouble and power failure within the coastal area of Merida, Leyte,” Aceron said.
The M/V Super Shuttle 15 left Ormoc port 9 p.m. and expected to arrive in Cebu City after six hours. The ship serves the route three times weekly on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
The vessel is one of the 24 fleet owned by the Asian Marine Transport Corporation, one of the country’s main operators of the Strong Republic Nautical Highway serving 35 ports nationwide. The company has been in the shipping business since 1999. (Leyte Samar Daily Express)