Marina asked to withdraw order to retrieve bodies of passengers trapped inside sunken M/V Baleno 9

January 7, 2010 11:02 pm 

MANILA, Jan. 7 –Besta Shipping Lines, owner of the sunken M/V Baleno 9, asked the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) to withdraw its order for the firm to retrieve the bodies believed trapped inside the vessel.

Lawyer Arthur Lim, Besta legal counsel, said that it would be impossible for them to comply with the order because of depth of the site where the ship sank.

Lim said that while the firm wanted to comply with the order, it would be impossible to do it at this time or in the future.

“We are requesting the Marina, asking that this (order) be deleted or be held in abeyance pending the assessment of the Marina. If Marina gives an order, we want to comply, but if it is impossible (to do) we might be found breach(ing) of Marina’s directive,” he said.

Marina Administrator Ma. Elena Bautista earlier said it would be difficult to retrieve the bodies still inside the sunken ship because of the depth.

Besta said that with the suspension of its operation, the shipping lines left to operate could hardly service the the high volume of cargoes in the Batangas-Calapan, Oriental Mindoro route this peak season.

M/V Baleno 9 was about 1.6 nautical miles Southeast of Verde Island, while on its way to Batangas from Calapan port, when it listed and eventually sank on Dec. 26, 2009. (PNA) RMA/JES

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