AT least 25 people were injured in a sea collision involving two vessels in the waters of Barangay Looc in Mandaue City, Cebu on Sunday, the Philippine Coast Guard reported on Monday.
Passenger vessel MV St. Jhudiel was sailing toward Cebu City from Ormoc City with 197 passengers, when it collided with LCT (Landing Craft Tank) Poseidon 23 at around 2:52 p.m., the report said.
The PCG said the master of the passenger vessel reported that 25 of their passengers and crewmembers sustained minor injuries. No one from the Poseidon 23 was injured.
An initial PCG investigation showed that St. Jhudiel might have caused the mishap.
“While underway, it (MV St. Jhudiel) experienced steering casualty and engine trouble causing it to collide with LCT Poseidon 23 that was on its way to Ormoc City from Mandaue City,” it said.
At the time of the incident, Poseidon 23 was carrying 17 rolling cargoes and 20 passengers, including drivers and cargo helpers. It returned to Ouano Wharf in Mandaue City, its port of origin, to assess the damage that it incurred.
The PCG deployed a floating asset, a land vehicle and an ambulance as it responded to the maritime incident, while its special operations group augmented the search and rescue operations.
The Coast Guard’s Marine Environmental Protection Force in Central Visayas was also mobilized to conduct an oil spill assessment.
PCG spokesman Rear Admiral Armand Balilo said during a news briefing on Monday that they were continuing to investigate the sea collision, including whether the so-called “traffic separation scheme,” was observed before the incident.
He said they were also looking at the issue of sea worthiness because last week, St. Jhudiel already experienced problems with its hydraulics.
“We are determining whether this is connected with yesterday’s (Monday) steering casualty,” Balilo said.
He said that Poseidon 23 tried to avoid the collision, but still, it happened.
MT Princess Empress oil spill cleanup
Meanwhile, the PCG said that it was preparing for the arrival of the Monrovian-registered Dynamic Support Vessel (DSV) “Fire Opal,” which will conduct the siphoning operations of the remaining oil onboard the sunken MT Princess Empress in Naujan, Oriental Mindoro.
The DSV Fire Opal was chartered by the Malayan Towage and Salvage Corp. (MSTC) and contracted by the Protection and Indemnity (P&I) Insurance Club, Shipowners Protection Mutual.
The vessel left Singapore on May 19 and will arrive in Subic on May 26.