Passenger vessel runs aground in Cebu; all passengers safe — PCG

December 2, 2009 3:14 pm 

MANILA, Dec. 2 — An interisland vessel from Cebu bound for Leyte with 519 passengers on board ran aground after a minor collision Tuesday night with another vessel near the Mactan Bridge in Cebu, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said on Wednesday.

Admiral Wilfredo Tamayo, PCG commandant, said initial investigation received by the Coast Guard Action Center in Manila disclosed that MV Wonderful Star, a cargo/passenger vessel of Roble shipping lines, left the Nakar wharf in Cebu at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday.

While passing at the vicinity of the old Mactan Bridge in Mandaue City, the vessel was hit on the port side by MV Subic Bay, a cargo vessel from Manila, causing it to miss its course and ran aground at the shallow portion of Cebu channel near the Petron oil depot.

Coast Guard Cebu Station Commander Elpidio Gunio immediately dispatched Coast Guard rescue boats DF 318, DF 330 and three rubber boats with divers and medical personnel to rescue the passengers on board.

At around 2 a.m., Coast Guard personnel transferred all the passengers to the Coast Guard rescue boats and three tugboats sent by the shipping company and were brought back to pier 3 in Cebu City.

All passengers were safe and turned over to the custody of the shipping executives.

Commodore Rolando Dizon, PCG district commander of Cebu, directed Gunio to coordinate with the shipping company for the extraction of the ship and ordered marine environmental units to closely monitor for possible oil spill.

Meanwhile, Gunio advised the captains of both ships to immediately file marine protest for the probe to be conducted by Coast Guard on the incident.

MV Subic Bay safely anchored at the vicinity of Pier 3 in Cebu. (PNA) scs/JES

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