MARINA reinspects marine vessels in Caraga for seaworthiness

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews / 17 Sept) – Shortly after the sea mishap involving MV Maharlika 2 which sank off Pintuyan, Southern Leyte, the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) called for reinspection of all passenger and cargo vessels, including motorized bancas operating in and home ported in the Caraga Region.

MARINA said this is to ensure the carriers are still seaworthy.

The directive was issued last Monday by Engr. Emmanuel B. Carpio, the regional director of MARINA.

“The vessels stay in port while reinspection and additional audit are to be conducted by our maritime safety specialists,” he said.

Last Monday, Marina has cancelled the certificate of public conveyance of the MV Maharlika 4, the sister ferry of the ill-fated MV Maharlika 2, after it was found to have major deficiencies as far as its seaworthiness is concerned.

The official said he found out at least four deficiencies of the ferry: the expired license of the chief marine engineer, heavy corrosion of the ship’s watertight bulkheads, incomplete checklist of machineries maintenance system, and non-functioning fire alarm system and deflection system.

“All concerned shipping companies, owner, operators home ported and operating in Caraga Region, are hereby directed to submit their passenger-cargo vessels and motor bancas for reinspection audit not later than September 18, to ascertain the vessel’s fitness and seaworthiness condition,” he said.

On September 13, Saturday the MV Maharlika 2, as it was navigating for Liloan, Southern, Leyte from Lipata Port in this city, experienced a steering problem just over an hour of its voyage. It eventually sank.

During that time the sea was rough and the wind was strong.

Rescue and search teams have so far recovered eight dead bodies from among the passengers of Maharlika 2. An undetermined number of passengers remained missing. At least 110 crew members and passengers had been rescued.