561 ship passengers rescuedBy Jerry E. Esplanada
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Coast Guard personnel rescued 561 passengers of an interisland ship which encountered engine trouble while it was about to dock at the Iloilo City port on Sunday.
Instead of docking, the MV St. Thomas Aquinas, which was headed for Cagayan de Oro City, decided to drop anchor about 500 yards from its berthing area, Commo. Athelo Ybañez, Coast Guard district commander in Western Visayas, reported. The ship plies the Manila-Bacolod City-Iloilo City-Cagayan de Oro City route.
“Due to the ship’s size, the tugboat that was available at the Iloilo port failed to tow the vessel to shore,” Ybañez said. Instead, Coast Guard men helped the passengers disembark using the same tugboat.”
The passengers will be transported to Cebu aboard another commercial ship and then brought to their final destination, he added.
Also on Sunday, the MV Lady of the Angel, which was bound for Bato, Southern Leyte, had the same problem, prompting Coast Guard personnel from the Eastern Visayas District to assist its 144 passengers and crew members.
“The vessel came from Cebu City and was on its way to Bato when the incident happened near St. Bernard town,” the Philippine Coast Guard Action Center in Manila said.