PGMA orders probe of Cavite sea tragedy

December 26, 2009 10:36 pm 

MANILA, Dec. 26 — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has ordered a thorough investigation on the sea accident involving a passenger ferry and a fishing vessel on Christmas Eve off Cavite near Limbones Island.

Cabinet Secretary Silvestre Bello III said in a radio interview that the President ordered the suspension of operations of the San Nicolas Shipping, which operates the wooden-hulled ferry M/V Catalyn B, and the steel-hulled fishing vessel F/V Anatalia, pending the investigation being undertaken by the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

The collission left three dead, 24 missing, and 46 survivors as of Friday afternoon.

Marina and PCG will determine why the vessels collided on calm seas and why Catalyn B sank immediately.

There was need to determine if these vessels were seaworthy and the capability of the crew of both vessels, Bello said.

Marina started this year the five-year phaseout of wooden-hulled vessels.

He said the vessels must always be equipped with life jackets in case of such emergencies. "There is no reason why some people should die in this accident," he said. (PNA) RMA/OPS/rsm

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