MANILA, 17Aug2013 (PNA) – Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) administrator Maximo Mejia Jr. on Saturday ordered the immediate suspension of all ships belonging to Sulpicio Lines and 2GO Shipping so they can be inspected by authorities.
This was after cargo vessel Sulpicio Express Siete collided with passenger ship MV St. Thomas Aquinas at the seawaters of Talisay City in Cebu Friday night.
Mejia said although the two shipping companies’ papers are in order and that the involved ships’ structural integrity and stability are not in question, Marina deemed it necessary that all their vessels undergo rigid 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 the Philippine Coast Guard headquarters in Manila.
He said an order was issued to all Marina regional chiefs to do the inspection of the two companies’ ships within their areas of jurisdiction.
Mejia said he convened on Saturday morning a maritime crisis management committee wherein they conducted an initial investigation on the incident.
“During which, we collected all documents relating to the two ships in question, checking all 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,” he added.
Marina will conduct an investigation into the incident to determine who is at fault and that measures be done to prevent similar incidents from happening. (PNA)