Vessel runs aground; 311 passengers safe
CEBU, Philippines — Passenger vessel MV Mika Mari ran aground at 7:45 a.m. yesterday, 200 meters away from Port of Consuelo in Camotes Islands, after its engine tripped off while at sea.
All 311 passengers and 19 crew members were safe.
Lieutenant First Grade Michael Encina, spokesperson of the Philippine Coast Guard-Central Visayas, said that the vessel, which is owned by Jomalia Shipping Lines, left at Danao City Port at 5:30 a.m. on the same day. It was bound for Consuelo Port in San Francisco, Camotes.
Encina said that upon being informed about the maritime incident, they immediately dispatched personnel from Cebu Coast Guard Station-Consuelo Quick Response Team and launched the Coast Guard MBCA Consuelo to help in the rescue operations.
Aside from the passengers and crew, the 272 gross tonnage vessel carried 23 rolling cargoes.
Meanwhile, PCG-CV said it rescued four persons sighted calling for help from a capsized boat off Carcar Point in Cebu.
PCG said its team was conducting maritime patrol at vicinity when it saw the four persons in distress.
The four were clinging on to the overturned hull of the capsized boat.
Immediately, BRP Suluan manuevered towards the distressed motorbanca and found out that the four persons onboard were fishermen.
Subsequently, the PCG vessel conducted rescue operation and launched its speed boat to the distressed persons and brought them onboard.
The four were identified as Eric Campo, Hoven Gasalatan, Jonas Padillo and Jaypee Gasalatan. They are all residents of Barangay Tanke, Talisay City.
Likewise, PCG successfully retrieved the motorbanca and towed IT towards tne Aduana Wharf in Cebu City.
Initial investigation revealed that the fishermen were enroute to Bohol to buy fish but encountered severe squall while in the middle of Cebu Strait at 5 a.m. that day.
In a separate development, in compliance with the directives of the secretary of the Department of Transportation and the Commandant PCG to ensure public safety and security during All Saints’ and Souls’ Days.
Along with the interagency preventive actions in port, the Coast Guard Central Visayas implemented forward deployment of seabased Search and Rescue units along preidentified high density searoutes and tourism destinations in Cebu and Bohol.
It added that through its campaign plan iCARE, the PCG in Central Visayas has been able to keep its operational objective of zero maritime casualty to date. (FREEMAN)