Ferry runs aground off Leyte; passengers safely transferredBy Elvie Roman Roa
ORMOC CITY, Philippines—The M/V Super Shuttle Ferry 15 carrying 191 passengers ran aground in shallow waters off the town of Merida in Leyte as it drifted at sea after losing power close to midnight on Tuesday.
The vessel, which is operated by the Asian Marine Transport, experienced engine failure and lost power at 11:40 p.m. Tuesday, more than two hours after it left the privately owned GGC port in Ormoc City, said Probationary Ensign Jamaal Sto. Domingo Aceron, the Ormoc Coast Guard’s administrative and personnel officer.
Aceron said that after receiving a radio message from the ship’s skipper, Domingo Cabradilla Jr., the Coast Guard called its Palompon detachment, which in turn sent Super Shuttle Ferry 23 to rescue the passengers on board its sister ship.
At about 3:10 a.m., 185 passengers transferred from Shuttle 15 to Shuttle 23, which arrived back at the at Ormoc port at 6:30 a.m.
Six passengers remained on the Super Shuttle 15 because they were rolling cargo drivers.
The passengers were then conveyed by Weesam fast craft and a Roble Shipping Lines vessel, both of which left Ormoc for Cebu at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m., respectively. The Asian Marine Transport shouldered the fare of the 185 passengers.
No passenger was reported injured or hurt.
The Super Shuttle Ferry 15 was still aground off Merida, 23 km from Ormoc City, on Wednesday, waiting to be towed by Shuttle 23.
A team composed of four Philippine Coast Guard personnel, two Special Operations Group divers and a marine environmental specialist went to the area to assess the situation.