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Roll-on-roll-off vessel sinks in Mandaue

/ 02:34 PM March 12, 2013

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CEBU CITY, Philippines—A roll-on-roll-off cargo vessel capsized and sank at the Cabahug private wharf in Looc village, Mandaue City, last Monday evening while it was loading cargo.

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Cebu Coast Guard Station commander Weniel Azcuna said the MV Maria Angelica Grace of the Manila-based Rapal Shipping Lines tilted to the right because of the waves caused by a bigger vessel that passed nearby at 9:45 p.m. and sank a few minutes later with its a cargo of rice and sugar loaded in five vans that had just come aboard.

Azcuna said the 18 crew and officers, the seven drivers and laborers of the trucks jumped off the vessel before it sank.

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He said the skipper of the ship claimed his vessel lost its balance because of the strong waves caused by a passing ship.

Azcuna said an investigation was underway to determine if the sinking was the result of bad loading procedures because other vessels docked in the area were not affected by the waves.

Azcuna said the vessel’s hull could still be seen at the Cabahug wharf.

The Coast Guard has to assess the amount of damage because they were still coordinating with the owners of the vessel and the cargo.

The cargo was intended for delivery to Masbate. The vessel was supposed to leave for Masbate at 11 p.m. on Monday.

Azcuna said the Coast Guard has put up oil spill booms around the vessel to prevent its fuel from spreading in case it oozed out of the ship.

The crew revealed that around 8,000 liters of industrial diesel fuel were still in the vessel’s fuel tank.

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Azcuna said he has required the owner, Salvador Rapal, to siphon off the fuel.

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