MANILA - The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) on Thursday said the collision between passenger vessel M/V St. Thomas Aquinas of 2GO Group Inc. and cargo ship Sulpicio Express Siete in Cebu last August 16 was likely due to human error.
In an interview on ANC's Headstart, MARINA Administrator Maximo Mejia said the passenger ship deviated from its lane before colliding with the cargo ship.
Mejia said the ships collided when they were just outside the Cebu port's entrance, at a time when the weather was calm.
MARINA is now gathering the testimonies of crews of other ships in the area, given conflicting reports from the captains of the two ships.
"There is accurate information on the 2GO track. If you look at the track, it's not coming into the lane it's supposed to, so it deviated? That's only one part of the story. The question is where is the Sulpicio ship, did it also deviate? " Mejia said.
"There seems to have been a disconnect between the ships. That's what's coming out in the investigation."
Meanwhile, Mejia said a new system should be put in place to prevent future sea accidents.
Mejia said one of the solutions is the setting up of "Vessel Traffic Management Service", the maritime counterpart of an air traffic control system.