A FAST craft bound for Cebu City from Bohol was stuck at sea for almost seven hours after it conked out off Lauis Ledge in Talisay City yesterday morning.

Weesam Express 3 was brought to the port of Cebu City at 3:05 p.m.

The vessel’s 21 passengers and 15 crew members were safe.

Commander Dionelett Ampil, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Cebu Station head, said the vessel left Tagbilaran City in Bohol at 5:54 a.m.

At 7 a.m., vessel captain Edgar Fidel ordered his crew to stop the fast craft after his helmsman noticed that the steering wheel was no longer working.

Fidel asked the crew to fix it but they failed to operate the emergency steering mechanism after they found that the vessel’s tie rod hydraulic cylinder broke.

The tie rod hydraulic cylinder connects the steering bridge to the rudder, which controls where the vessel goes.

A tugboat owned by Lite Shipping was contacted to rescue the vessel.

Ampil has advised the ship’s captain to file a marine protest and secure a certificate of seaworthiness before the vessel will be allowed to sail again.