PCG alarmed over increasing number of vessel engine breakdowns

June 8, 2010 7:11 pm 

MANILA, June 8 — The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Tuesday expressed alarm over the increasing incidence of passenger vessel engine breakdowns, thus called on ship owners to check on the seaworthiness of their vessels.

According to Admiral Wilfredo D Tamayo, PCG Commandant, during the last two months alone, more than 15 engine breakdowns were reported and monitored. Those vessels involved carried a sizable number of persons or passengers.

While said engine breakdowns at sea had been promptly reported to PCG units and assistance from the PCG or their respective companies had been readily provided, vessel seaworthiness should be ensured by ship owners prior to each voyage to ensure smooth sailing and avoidance of any untoward incident.

The strict implementation of maintenance schedules to guarantee the reliability of vessels' engines is a must. Admiral Tamayo added that with the start of the typhoon season and La Nina where rough sea conditions will become prevalent, engine derangements could unduly place the vessel at risk as it would prevent a vessel’s capability to safely maneuver at sea.

Due to the alarming rate of engine derangement incidence, Tamayo calls on all shipowners, operators and their Masters or Captains to strictly observe safety regulations and voluntarily cancel their voyages in cases of doubts on the seaworthiness of their respective vessels until the good operating condition of the vessel is ascertained.

Furthermore, vessel’s engine breakdown or any operational disruptions must be reported immediately to the nearest PCG unit for PCG to render appropriate assistance to the distressed vessel.

In such cases, the PCG initial action is to immediately inform and direct merchant vessels in the vicinity to render assistance through the broadcast of Notice to Mariners thru NAVTEX and the internet. RA 9993 or the PCG Law of 2009 empowers the Coast Guard to enlist all vessels, private or government, to render assistance in cases of emergencies at sea.

The riding public should be protected and the PCG would not allow exposing passengers to unnecessary risks. Admiral Tamayo also calls on shipping and/or passengers onboard ships to immediately report to the PCG any signs or information of engine breakdowns or other operational disruptions being experienced by ships or other safety related information.

The PCG could be reached thru Hotlines 5278481, 5273877 or Hot Text 0917PCGDOTC (09177243682). (PNA)

DCT/JES

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