Trans-Asia 5 safety permit suspended
The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) yesterday suspended the passenger ship safety certificate of the MV Trans-Asia 5 after it stalled for several hours off Siquijor province last Sunday evening.
The vessel, which carried 677 passengers and 61 crew, arrived back at Cagayan de Oro City port at 10:21 a.m yesterday or nearly two days after it departed for Cebu City at 3 p.m. last Sunday.
The Marina regional office in Cagayan de Oro City issued the suspension order against MV Trans-Asia 5, said Marina regional information officer Jose Cabatingan.
“The passenger ship safety certificate of MV Trans-Asia 5 is suspended, which means the vessel won’t be allowed to sail until they are cleared by a safety inspection,” Cabatingan said.
He said the management is also obligated to provide transportation of the passengers to their destination in Cebu City or refund their tickets if the passengers opt not to proceed with their trips.
The needs of the passengers were met, said Trans Asia Shipping Lines HR Manager Abner Llenos.
Llenos said they refunded some passengers while there were others who waited for the MV Trans-Asia 9 trip to Cebu City at 8 p.m today.
He said those who chose to travel tonight will be fed until their scheduled trip for Cebu City.
Engine trouble was cited as the cause behind the vessel’s stalling in the middle of the sea.
Lt. Junior Grade Madriaga, operations officer of the Coast Guard District Central Visayas, said Trans-Asia 5 was towed by one tugboat since 9 p.m last Monday.
He said strong winds prevented sister vessel MV Asia Pacific from towing the stalled ship to Cebu City port causing MV Trans Asia 5 to drift towards the Mindanao area last Monday.
The Coast Guard’s BRP Edsa 2 accompanied the two vessels until it reached the Macabalan port in Cagayan de Oro.
Madriaga said the ship captain of the vessel Captain Roman Gencono is required to submit his marine protest to Coast Guard detachment in Cagayan de Oro City.
Madriaga said the Coast Guard in Cagayan de Oro will also convene the Board of Marine Inquiry to investigate the cause of the incident. He said based on records, MV Trans-Asia 5 experienced engine problem twice in the past.
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