Fastcraft operator urged to file marine protest to resume trip

Rescuers and Coast Guard personnel assist passengers as the M/V Weesam Express 6 was towed back to the Bredco port in Bacolod City after it suffered mechanical trouble at the Panay and Bacolod waters Tuesday. (Photo courtesy of 618th Squadron PCGA)

By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – The Philippine Coast Guard Sub Station (PCGSS) Bacolod advised the operator of M/V Weesam Express 6 to file a marine protest and secure a Certificate of Seaworthiness from the Maritime Industry Authority to enable them to resume its trip.

This, after the said vessel suffered mechanical trouble that prompted the rescue of its 172 passengers, including two children, and 19 crew members at the vicinity waters of Panay and Bacolod last Tuesday.

Chief Petty Officer Louie Campaner, commander of CGSS Bacolod, said that based on their investigation, steering casualty or rudder failure was the cause of the mechanical trouble. A rudder is used to steer a ship or a boat.

“Ang barko indi na makagiho tungod napalos ang lock sang rudder,” he added.

Campaner said that some of the passengers suffered seasickness and probably got nervous but they were all accounted for and disembarked unharmed.

The incident happened 30 minutes after the vessel departed from the Bacolod Real Estate Development Corp. (Bredco) port going to Iloilo City around 11:30 a.m.

After CGSS Bacolod received a distress message at 1:15 p.m., tug boats MTUG ARCTURUS and MTUG SADR were deployed for rescue operation as the PCG BRP KALANGGAMAN escorted the towing operation of the vessel back to the Bredco port.

Currently, only one vessel of the said fastcraft operator is operational.