Vessel stalled before reaching Ormoc port; passengers safe | Inquirer News

Vessel stalled before reaching Ormoc port; passengers safe

/ 03:32 PM August 29, 2015

CEBU CITY—A passenger vessel from Camotes Islands, Cebu suddenly stopped its voyage Saturday morning while about 5.4 nautical miles away from its destination, the port of Ormoc City, Leyte.
The 99 passengers of Jomalia Shipping Lines were transferred to a fast craft, Oceanjet 3, and arrived at the Ormoc port at about 11 a.m.
MV Mika Mari V was towed by a tugboat and reached Ormoc port shortly before noon.
The passenger vessel, which had 17 crew members, left Pilar town on Camotes Islands located east of Cebu, at about 7:30 a.m. and was supposed to reach Ormoc at past 9 a.m.
A Coast Guard personnel in Ormoc City said the vessel suddenly stopped in the middle of the sea or about 5.4 nautical miles from Ormoc port.
Romeo Danganan, manager of Jomalia Shipping, confirmed that their vessel had problems a few minutes before reaching the Ormoc City port.
But he added Oceanjet, which is owned by sister company of Jomalia Shipping, arrived 30 minutes later to rescue the passengers.
Danganan said not one of the passengers was hurt and all had breakfast before they were transferred to Oceanjet.
Danganan said Roger Capin, MV Mika Mari V captain, could not explain clearly why the engine conked out.
Capin was ordered by Coast Guard to submit a marine protest.
Danganan said the vessel’s engine was in good condition and the problem could be traced to its propeller since MV Mika Mari V ran aground at the shallow area of the Pilar port a few days after they started its operation in the area in July.
Jomalia Shipping was convinced by Pilar Mayor Jesus Fernandez to operate in his town after passenger motorboats were grounded following the sinking of MB Kim Nirvana in Ormoc port on July 2 where at least 61 people died.
The passenger motorboat, which was bound for Pilar, had just left Ormoc port when it capsized and sank about a kilometer away from the pier.
Since many of Pilar residents buy their supplies in Ormoc, Fernandez asked Jomalia Shipping to send in a vessel and address their need.
The shipping firm got a special permit to ply the Pilar-Ormoc route to help the island-town residents.
Almost two months after the accident, Danganan said the company is still struggling to get enough passengers because passenger motorboats have resumed their operations.
Competing with the motorboats in its daily trip, Danganan said they just got a share of 20 passengers, although they are able to sustain the operation because of the cargoes.
He said the company will send its sister vessel Mika Mari I to fill-in the Pilar-Ormoc route. Jhunnex Napallacan/RAM



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TAGS: Camotes Islands, MV Mika Mari V, Ormoc, passengers, Vessel
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