2 ships collide in Lawis Ledge
A passenger vessel bound for Bohol collided with a cargo vessel at the Lawis Ledge in Talisay City yesterday afternoon.
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Cebu station said they received a call past 1 p.m. that M/V Lite Ferry 20 was hit by a cargo vessel, LCT Seamine 8.
According to Captain Dominique Carmona, of Lite Ferry, they were traversing Lawis Ledge when they felt a sudden vibration on the eastern section of their vessel.
The collision resulted to minimal damage on Lite Ferry’s sun deck.
In an interview with Cebu Daily News, Seaman 2nd class Francis Garcia of PCG-Cebu said that there were no casualties or injured during the collision.
Lite Shipping Ferry had 54 passengers.
Garcia said that the passenger vessel was bound for Tubigon, Bohol while the cargo vessel was bound for Naga City in Cebu.
Around 45 minutes after the collision, both vessels continued with their respective trips.
“Nagkaroon sila ng communication na ise-settle nalang nila ang nangyari. So dumeretso na sila sa next port nila,” Garcia said.
(They communicated with each other to settle the damage so they continued on to their next port)
For now, PCG-Cebu is still waiting for the marine protest of both vessels.
Meanwhile, a Vessel Traffic Management System (VTMS) was constructed and completed last year to help manage maritime traffic at the Mactan Channel and the waters around Cebu Island
However, it is not yet fully operational, said Cebu Coast Guard Station Commander Jerome Cayabyab.
“The equipments of our VTMS are currently undergoing endurance tests,” he told Cebu Daily News.
The VTMS was built at the compound of the Philippine Coard Guard in Central Visayas District in Pier 3, Cebu City following the collission of MV St. Thomas Aquinas of 2Go Shipping Lines and Sulpicio Express Siete of Philippine Span Asia Carrier Corp (PSACC) at Lawis Ledge in Talisay City on the night of Aug. 16, 2013.
The sea mishap claimed the lives of 116 persons.
To prevent future sea mishaps of that magnitude, the construction of a VTMS was recommended by authorities.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) funded the project worth Y1.152 billion in 2014. Construction started in 2015 and was completed last year.
Caybayab said the VTMS can monitor all inbound and outbound vessels, both foreign and domestic, passing through the Mactan Channel and the nearby seas.
“VTMS personnel advise vessels passing by the area to follow martime rules, including the proper speed,” he said.
At least nine personnel from PCG and another nine from the Cebu Ports Authority (CPA) will be assigned at the VTMS Control Center.
The VTMS control tower is located at the rooftop of the building and can monitor the entire Mactan Channel.
While waiting for the full operation of the VTMS, Cayabyab called on officers of the sea vessels to strictly observe the rules to avoid accidents.
“Please take some precautionary measures. They should know the appropriate speed to avoid accidents,” he said.
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