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Cebu News

Fastcraft conks out in mid-sea

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - A fastcraft en route to Cebu City from Ormoc City went adrift for almost three hours in the waters between Camotes Island in Cebu and Isabel, Leyte due to a “minor” steering problem.

 Fortunately, none of the 93 passengers and 18 crew members of Ocean Jet 88 got injured and arrived safely at Pier 1 at 3:41 p.m. yesterday.  The fastcraft left Ormoc port at 10:30 a.m. and was expected at Pier 1 at 1 p.m.

 Captain Ricardo Rosaldo Jr. said the vessel’s micro switch suddenly conked out in the middle of the trip and they tried to repair it for several hours but failed prompting them to use manual steering.

 “We are navigating to Cebu and suddenly experienced a steering failure,” he said adding that it was the first time it happened.

 Immediately after docking, Rosaldo submitted an incident report to the Maritime Industry Authority-7 for inspection. Once given green light, the vessel is expected to travel today.

The Philippine Coast Guard deployed tugboat Allysa to assist the vessel until it safely docked at Pier 1.

In a separate interview, Aster Moquia, 64, said her fellow passengers were already complaining out of fear.

“Kusog na pod motuya ang barko mao nga perti na gyod namong kuyawa,” she told The FREEMAN.

 But she said she managed to keep calm and prayed in silence that they may be brought safely to their destination. The crew also tried to pacify the passengers.

 She said the waves were just moderate but what worried her was their safety since the vessel stopped and was just floating in the middle of the sea.

 “Maayo na lang gani kay gamay ra ang pasahero, kung daghan pa, mag-panic na siguro,” she added.

 She went to Cebu to attend a three-day seminar on Bottom-Up Budgeting but arrived late because of the incident. She is working as municipal agriculturist in La Paz, Leyte.

 Another passenger Grace Riel-ilad said she was afraid while taken adrift by big waves. She married an Australian national and came to Cebu to apply for dual citizenship.

 “Umiikot ang barko and it stopped moving. We are in the middle of the ocean, so scary. I’m so scared because I don’t know how to swim. I see big waves pounding the vessel. Most of the passengers were afraid and uneasy while some, especially children, were vomiting,” she recounted.

 Riel-ilad said she has no plan of filing complaints against the captain and the shipping company.

 “It was not their fault. It was nobody’s fault. I’m just thankful that we arrive safely here,” she said adding that they were properly attended by the crew. —(FREEMAN)

ACIRC

ASTER MOQUIA

BOTTOM-UP BUDGETING

CAMOTES ISLAND

CAPTAIN RICARDO ROSALDO JR.

CEBU

CEBU AND ISABEL

CEBU CITY

GRACE RIEL

LA PAZ

NBSP

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