A TRANS Asia vessel carrying 379 passengers caught fire while it was sailing from Ozamiz City to Cebu province, a report from Coast Guard Station in Cebu City (CGS-Cebu) reported on Friday.
M/V Trans Asia II was sailing 2.4 nautical miles off the coast of Balicasag Island in Bohol province when its Captain Rudy Verba noticed that a thick smoke was coming out from the starboard main engine of the vessel.
Verba said that he immediately ordered his men to stop the vessel to prevent further damage and to check the condition of the engine.
Verba said that upon further inspection they found out that the smoke was coming from a defective exhaust manifold. He then sought the assistance of CGS-Cebu so that they could continue their voyage.
CGS- Cebu advised Verba to continue their voyage with just one operating engine and to give a situational report every hour. CGS-Cebu also dispatched its Search and Rescue Vessel to monitor the sailing of the distressed ship.
CGS-Cebu’s Search and Rescue Vessel assisted Trans Asia II until it reached Berth 14 of the Port of Cebu.
CGS-Cebu reported that the ship was carrying a total of 379 passengers, 342 of which were adults, 25 were children and 12 infants. The ship also carried various cargoes.
In Cebu, Marina inspectors conducted further inspection and tested the main engines of the ship.