ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/25 October) – A wooden-hulled cargo vessel and its cargo sunk while moored at a private wharf in this city, a coast guard official disclosed Thursday.
Lieutenant Commander Elizer Dalnay, commander of the Zamboanga Coast Guard Station, said M/L Lady RP-II sunk around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Wee-Bin Wharf located in Barangay Baliwasan.
Dalnay said they are conducting a thorough investigation to determine why the vessel sunk at port.
“We have to refloat the vessel and tow it to a shipyard where we can examine it and from there we will determine why it sunk,” he said.
However, the official said some of the vessel’s crewmembers told them that the cause was possibly a leak under the hull.
Before it sunk, Dalnay said the crew noticed that the vessel’s hull was flooded with seawater while moored at the wharf.
The crew tried to pump out the seawater using two pumps but their efforts proved futile, he said.
The vessel, owned by Pakkal Maha, arrived in this city Tuesday afternoon from Sibutu town in Tawi-Tawi via Pangutaran town in Sulu, he said.
It was carrying 1,166 sacks of copra and 900 empty cases of soft drinks.
Maha, who is also the boat’s skipper, told the coast guard authorities that they did not immediately unload the cargo since it was already dark when they arrived.
Maha said he went home to his residence in Barangay Tumaga and received a call from his crew early Thursday that the vessel’s hull was flooded with seawater until it sunk.
Meanwhile, Dalnay said the Maritime Industry Authority has suspended the vessel’s cargo safety certificate and certificate of public convenience as well as the crew to give way to the investigation. (MindaNews)