THE roll-on-roll-off (roro) vessel that was rescued a few kilometers southeast of Mandaue City last Friday afternoon, after seawater entered its keel, is now grounded from sailing by the Philippine Coast Guard in Cebu (PCG) until further notice.
MV Lite Ferry 26 of Lite Shipping Corporation was bound for Tubigon town in Bohol, located 52 kilometers southeast of Cebu City, from Ouano Wharf in Mandaue City.
But one hour after its scheduled departure last Friday noon, the PCG received reports from its crew, asking to be rescued as seawater brought by huge waves entered the vessel.
PCG second seaman Eljohn Morillo told Cebu Daily News in a phone interview yesterday that the vessel was safely pulled back by two tugboats from Lite Shipping Corporation a few minutes after the alert.
The vessel was located 15 kilometers southeast from the coast of Mandaue City.
Morillo said the vessel arrived at the Ouano Wharf, its port of origin, at 10:26 p.m. on Friday and will be docked there until authorities will give a go signal to resume its operations.
All of its 14 passengers and crew were safe while the cargo remained inside because the forward ramp was damaged, he said.
Morillo also said that some representatives of the shipping company refunded the passengers, and provided food and transportation money to them when they disembarked from the vessel.
“No one was hurt, and all passengers were given transportation money and food by officials of the shipping corporation to compensate for their canceled trip. They were also refunded. As of now, the roro is docked at Ouano Wharf until further notice,” added Morillo.
Guidelines from the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) suspends any vessel from sailing if it encounters problems during its voyage, said Morillo.
He said the captain of MV Lite Ferry 26 will have to file a marine protest before Marina to resume the operations of one of their vessels.
“The captain, in accordance with rules and regulations from Marina, will have to file a marine protest before Marina because the latter is the one who will grant them clearance to set sail again. They will have to prove before Marina why their ship is suited to resume its operations after what happened,” explained Morillo.
He also stated that they are still determining the extent of damage made on the roro.