MANILA — The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) on Monday suspended the operations of the fast craft and cargo vessel that crashed into each other along the Mactan Channel in Cebu last weekend.
MARINA enforcement service director Ronald Bandalaria said the two vessels are not allowed to travel, pending the results of their investigation into the accident.
The suspension will also be in effect until they determine that both vessels are seaworthy, Bandalaria added.
"They will be suspended until such time that they validate that the vessel are fit to go on its intended voyage. We have to validate kung seaworthy yung vessel," he said.
The licenses of the masters of both vessels were also suspended, while the their owners were issued a show cause order.
The Supercat Fast Ferry Corporation owns the fast craft MV St Jhudiel, while Primary Trident Marine Solutions owns the cargo vessel LCT Poseidon 23.
Up to 30 people were injured after the two vessels collided on Sunday, with 8 passengers and 2 crew members from the fast craft sustaining major injuries.
What went before
A report on the accident said the fast craft had "steering failures" as it approached the old Mactan Bridge.
The masters of the vessel discussed through radio what course to take to prevent a collision, but it later changed course towards the port side bow of the cargo ship.
MARINA said both ships are presumed to bear safety certificates, adding that the responsibility to check the vessel's seaworthiness lies on the shipowners and the officers of the ship.
"If there are some liabilities, the MARINA is mandated to penalize," Bandalaria added.
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) also said it had received reports about the MV St. Jhudiel experiencing a hydraulics problem last week.
"Apparently may report na last week meron na silang problema sa barko at naayos at ngayon nagkaroon ng problema.” said PCG spokesperson Rear Admiral Armand Balilo.
Balilo said they are checking whether the problem with the hydraulics could be related to the incident last Sunday. PCG was one of the first responders in the area.
The incident in Cebu is the second maritime incident involving passenger vessels this year.
It came almost 2 months since a fire razed the ferry M/V Lady Mary Joy 3 off Baluk-Baluk Island in Basilan, killing at least 31 people.