Friday, March 10, 2006

Ship Catches Fire Off Cebu City

Cebu City vessel carrying passengers and cargo caught fire 128 km off this city, but no one was reported hurt. Superferry 12, of the Aboitiz Transport Services, was on its way to Cebu from Manila when fire struck its stateroom, a first-class accommodation on Deck 4, at 11:50 a.m., reports reaching the Coast Guard said. John Rojo, the shipping firms assistant vice president for public relations, said the management was still determining the cause of the fire. Rojo said the fire was put out at 2:47 p.m. or almost three hours after it started. He said Coast guard personnel who inspected the vessel allowed the ship to continue its trip at past 3 p.m. Superferry 12 was supposed to arrive at the Cebu port at 8 p.m.
Superferry 12
The ship was anchored at the vicinity of Bulalagui point, 60 nautical miles from the port until it was cleared to continue sailing. Petty Officer 1st Class Pablo Gonzales, of the Hagnaya, San Remegio Coast Guard substation, said the ships Officers and Crew led by their Captain, Jose Yap, were the ones who put out the fire because Coast Guard personnel were not allowed at first to board the vessel. Rojo said the engines were not damaged, but ship officials were assessing if they would allow Superferry 12 to proceed to its next stop, Cagayan de Oro City. Manolito Malig-on, Cebu Coast guard station commander, said the ships captain had been required to submit a marine protest so that an investigation could immediately begin. Rojo said the Superferry management would cooperate in the probe.

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