By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
At least 172 passengers onboard an Iloilo City-bound fast craft were rescued after the vessel’s engines broke down in the Guimaras Strait yesterday afternoon.
Commander Joe Luviz Mercurio, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Northern Negros Occidental station chief, said no passengers of M/V Weesam Express 6 were hurt in the incident.
Some of them reportedly experienced sea sickness.
Mercurio said the seacraft left Bredco Port in Bacolod City at 11:30 a.m. yesterday, and suddenly encountered mechanical trouble while traversing the Guimaras Strait.
The Coast Guard-Bredco substation received a distress call from the vessel at 1:15 p.m.
Marine tugboats, Sadr and Arcturus, were dispatched to tow the vessel.
PCG District Western Visayas also sent the PCG patrol vessel, BRP Kalanggaman, from Iloilo City.
The fast craft vessel was successfully towed back to Bredco Port at 3:30 p.m.
Mercurio said the PCG is conducting an investigation into the vessel’s mechanical trouble.
“They are looking at the cause of the mechanical trouble and other relevant details to finalize our report,” he said.
Preliminary reports suggest that the fast craft’s engines broke down, which caused the vessel to stop./DGB, WDJ