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The Philippines Coast Guard on Monday successfully rescued a disabled ferry carrying 677 passengers that was left adrift for more than 12 hours in the Bohol Sea.
The PCG reports that the Ro/Ro-passenger ferry, M/V Trans Asia 5, broke down while underway 14nm southeast of Siquijor Island at approximately 5 a.m. local time Monday.
The ferry was enroute to Port of Cebu from Cagayan de Oro City with 677 passengers, 16 crew and 5 rolling cargoes when it became disabled due to a broken gear shaft, the PCG says.
The coast guard coordinated with the owner of vessel, Trans Asia Shipping Lines Inc., for towing of the vessel and, at approximately 7:30 p.m., the PCG cutter SARV-002 commenced towing disabled vessel. Sister vessel to the M/V Trans Asia 5, the M/V Asia Pacific, was also on scene and participated in the joint tow, according to the PCG report.
The Trans Asia 5 arrived safely back to Cagayan de Oro Port at 10:30 PM with no casualties or injuries reported, according to the coast guard report.
The MV Trans-Asia 5 is the largest and fastest vessel in Trans Asia Shipping Lines’ fleet with the capacity for 722 passengers and a top cruising speed of 16 knots. The vessel serves the Cebu City to Cagayan de Oro route and can make the trip in about 9 hours.
Made up of some 7,100 separate islands, the Philippines sees scores, sometimes hundreds, of fatalities each year in ferry accidents due to abysmal maritime safety oversight, overcrowding and the poor condition of vessels.
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