Marina grounds 2Go, Sulpicio fleets
The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines -- All ships of the two companies whose vessels figured in the deadly maritime accident off Cebu Friday night have been barred from sailing by the Maritime Industry Authority until they can be inspected.
Marina administrator Maximo Mejia Jr. said although the papers of 2Go Shipping Lines and Philippine Span Asia Carrier Corp. (formerly Sulpicio Lines) are in order and the structural integrity and stability of the vessels involved in the accident are not in question, the agency deemed it necessary for all the firms’ vessels to undergo inspection to ensure their seaworthiness.
“It was also decided that the immediate inspection be reinforced by a suspension order of all the ships belonging to the two companies and many of these ships are still out at sea but the directive is for these ships be immediately inspected as soon as they arrive in port,” Mejia said during a press conference at Philippine Coast Guard headquarters in Manila.
At least 31 persons have been confirmed dead and more than 170 more remain missing after 2Go’s ferry MV St. Thomas Aquinas sank after a collision with the cargo ship MV Sulpicio Express 7.
Majia said an order has been issued to all Marina regional chiefs to inspect the two companies’ ships within their areas of jurisdiction.
He said he had convened Saturday morning a maritime crisis management committee to conduct an initial investigation of the incident, “during which we collected all documents relating to the two ships in question, checking the validity of the certificates, the sequence, and found that all certificates are in order. There is no reason to believe that the incident has anything to do with questions of stability of structural integrity of the ships.”