More than 400 passengers and crew of an inter-island vessel that encountered engine trouble Monday midnight at the Tañon Strait, between Cebu and Negros Oriental, returned to the port of Dumaguete City, all safe and sound yesterday.
The Coast Guard Station in Dumaguete said M/V Georich of the George and Peter Lines left the Dumaguete port at around 11 p.m. Monday en route to Cebu. At around 1:27 a.m., one of its engines malfunctioned, causing it to drift some 3.2 nautical miles off Alcoy, Cebu.
PO2 Aldwin Chan of the Coast Guard quoted Crisologo Carollo, the captain of M/V Georich, as saying that in an assessment conducted by ship engineer Armando Baes, the turbo of auxiliary engine #2 had malfunctioned.
A distress call was made to the Coast Guard in Dumaguete, that advised Carollo to coordinate the towing of the ship by its sister inter-island vessel, the M/V Zamboanga Ferry, that was en route to Dumaguete from Cebu at that time, Chan added.
The M/V Zamboanga reached the M/V Georich at around 3:20 a.m., towed it all the way to the Dumaguete port, and docked at around 7:30 a.m. yesterday.
The troubled vessel carried 347 passengers and about 45 crew and apprentices. The shipping company offered breakfast to the passengers and facilitated the transfer for free of those who still wanted to proceed to Cebu through a commercial bus and ferry service. Other passengers were refunded in full, Chan said.
The M/V Georich remained moored at the Dumaguete port, he added.*JFP
back to top