MARINA reveals chain of events that doomed Mercraft 3 | Inquirer News

MARINA reveals chain of events that doomed Mercraft 3

By: - Reporter / @JLeonenINQ
/ 08:02 PM December 23, 2017
mercraft

Coast guard spokesman Armand Balilo shows a file photo of passenger vessel Mercraft 3 as he talks to reporters in Manila, Philippines on Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017. Philippine officials say coast guard officials and fishermen are trying to rescue more than 200 people on an inter-island ferry which is sinking off a northeastern province. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

The ill-fated MV Mercraft 3 capsized after hitting a metal fishing buoy off Quezon province, according to an initial report by the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA).

In a report dated Dec. 22, forwarded by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to the media on Saturday, MARINA said Mercraft 3 was scheduled to leave Real, Quezon for 06:15 a.m. last Dec. 21.

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However, due to bad weather, Mercraft 3 departed late as it awaited a departure clearance from the Philippine Coast Guard, according to MARINA.

“At around 1000H, while the vessel is navigating in poor visibility, MV Mercraft 3 struck a floating object on its starboard (nautical term for “right”) side,” MARINA’s report said, describing the object as a metal fishing buoy.

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Upon hearing the loud blast, the crew inspected the vessel’s starboard hull, only to see that its lower tank was already being flooded, according to the report.

Using two submersible pumps, the ship’s crew tried to pump out the water, but strong waves of about three to five meters in height continuously battered the ship’s forward section, the report said.

“Likewise, the cover of the manhole in the forward was damaged due to the ramming of an unsecured crate cargo,” according to the report.

Mercraft 3 then started tilting due to the damage, MARINA said in the report.

“To prevent further ingress of water, the master tried to maneuver [the ship] to the astern (backward),” the report stated.

“However, the crew may have left the manhole cover of the engine room which allegedly resulted to ingress of seawater and flooded engine rooms,” it said.

MARINA said the ship’s master immediately sought for rescue.

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“The vessel was afloat for almost one hour waiting for the rescue. However, when the seawater started to enter the engine rooms, the master ordered the abandon ship of passengers and crew,” according to the report.

The first responder, fishing boat FBca Sharnicten-2, arrived after almost two hours and rescued more than a hundred passengers, MARINA said.

According to the Philippine Coast Guard, five people died while eleven were injured in the incident.

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade on Saturday said has already ordered an investigation into the tragic sinking.

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TAGS: Dinahican Point, Maritime Industry Authority Mercraft 3, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Philippine news updates, quezon, steel buoy
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