Marina bans 2-deck boats following Nirvana tragedy
TACLOBAN CITY—The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) has banned the use as passenger vessels of two-deck boats weeks after the sinking of a motorboat that killed 62 people on July 2.
An advisory announcing the ban was issued by Maximo Mejia Jr., Marina administrator, on Wednesday, almost two weeks after the sinking of MB Kim Nirvana-B in Ormoc City, Leyte.
Engineer Rodolfo Paner, Marina-Eastern Visayas supervising maritime industry specialist, said the ban on the use of the second deck of a boat for passengers and cargo was in response to the tragedy.
Paner said at last three vessels plying the Pilar-Ormoc route have second decks. These are Junmar, Junmar II and Junmar III owned by Mario Pagalan based in Ormoc City.
He said owners of the boats removed the vessels’ second decks after the Marina ordered the ban.
Paner said the boat owners had to do it for their boats “to sail again.”
Nirvana was bound for Pilar town on Camotes Island in Cebu province when it capsized past noon on July 2, about a kilometer from the pier of Ormoc.
Authorities blamed the tragedy on human error because the vessel made a sharp turn, causing it to capsize.
Some passengers, however, claimed that the vessel was overloaded because there were at least 200 people on board when its passenger capacity was only 178. The manifest officially listed 173 passengers.
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