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Coast Guard: 2 vessels have engine problems in Visayas; all 705 passengers safe

September 16, 2012 8:13pm

Two vessels encountered engine difficulties in separate incidents in Western and Eastern Visayas Sunday, but the 705 passengers they were carrying in total were safe, the Philippine Coast Guard said.

The 561 passengers of the MV Saint Thomas Aquinas were helped to safety after their vessel encountered engine trouble between Iloilo City and Guimaras Island.

In a post on its website Sunday evening, the Coast Guard said the ship was plying the Manila-Bacolod-Iloilo-Cagayan de Oro route when the problem occurred, and the crew decided to anchor about 500 yards from its berthing.

But the ship was too big for tugboats to tow to port, and the passengers had to disembark through the tugboat.

On instructions of Coast Guard Western Visayas commander Commodore Athelo Ybañez, Coast Guard Iloilo personnel were deployed to the ship and port to ensure the passengers' safety.

The passengers had disembarked from the ship safely by 4 p.m.

The other incident occured off Southern Leyte, when a roro (roll-on-roll-off vessel) encountered problems with its auxiliary engine at around 12:35 a.m. Sunday on its way to Bato, Southern Leyte from Cebu.

But the vessel’s power was eventually restored and it was able to make its way to its destination with all 144 of its passengers. — BM, GMA News
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