THE Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) 7 has suspended the cargo ship safety certificate (CSSC) of mv Eva Mary Grace after it capsized off the port of Solid Earth Development Corp. (SEDC) in Barangay South Poblacion, San Fernando, Cebu Tuesday, June 25, 2019.
Crew members were loading sacks of cement onto the cargo ship when a swell upended the vessel.
The Marina 7 also suspended the seafarer’s identification and record books (SIRBs) of the ship’s officers and crew, prohibiting them from boarding another vessel pending the results of the investigation on the incident.
Marina 7 Director Marc Pascua said the suspension of the CSSC and SIRBs is in accordance with the provisions of Republic Act 9295, or the Domestic Shipping Development Act of 2004.
He further said his office’s action is also in line with the ship survey system and Marina’s guidelines on the issuance of safety certificates.
The SEDC-owned ship has a cargo capacity of 760 metric tons, or it can carry some 19,000 cement bags. The vessel had been loaded with 720 metric tons of cement before it tilted on its side and capsized.
The crane operator, who got injured during the incident, was rescued and rushed to the hospital.
Pascua said Marina has convened its Maritime Crisis Management Committee to conduct a probe. Summoned for investigation were Michael Zeta and Orlando Ancajas, captain and chief officer of mv Eva Mary Grace, respectively. Some SEDC officers were also called for the inquiry.
Investigators from the Marina and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) conducted the initial inquiry. They learned that the crew members started loading cement bags onto the ship at 2:20 p.m. last June 25. Big waves later hit the ship, causing it to overturn past 4 p.m.
PCG Visayas spokesman Mike Encina said PCG Cebu Commander Alvin Dagalea and Maritime Environment Protection Unit (Mepu) Commander Elmer Gadat held a conference on how to salvage the capsized vessel.
On Wednesday morning, June 26, the divers of PCG’s Special Operations Unit checked the situation of the vessel.
Encina said the Mepu also established a two-layer boom within the incident area to contain a possible oil spill from the vessel.
“We want to finish the investigation and salvaging (of the ship), so we could render a report....Whatever the result would be, it should serve as a lesson for future operations of all shipping companies,” Encina said.