Officers and crew of domestic shipping line MV St. Gregory the Great bound for Iloilo and Cagayan de Oro ensured the safe disembarkation of all 360 passengers at the Port of Iloilo. The vessel encountered an incident at about 3:15 a.m. on June 15 while en route to Iloilo from Bacolod.
In a statement, 2GO Group Inc. management clarified reports that the vessel nearly capsized saying that the ship remained afloat after it encountered a minor incident 45 minutes before safely docking at the Port of Iloilo. Moreover, there were no incidences of passenger panic on-board the vessel.
A portion of the underwater starboard hull sustained long scratches and small punctures while traversing the narrow channel along Iloilo Strait; which is often the route of domestic ships guided by navigational charts which are pre-plotted using the official National Mapping and Resource Information Authority chart.
In addition, small punctures caused some water to leak in one of the engine compartments.
2GO’s modern fleet has safety features including watertight doors that trigger automatic closure of sealed compartments in the event of any emergencies such as water leak or fire, to isolate and avoid the spreading to other compartments, and maintain the ship’s buoyancy. This makes the incident of capsizing and sinking very unlikely.
The officers and crews’ quick response to the incident and proper coordination with the Philippine Coast Guard enabled the ship to dock safely in the port of Iloilo under normal docking operations.
“All concerned agencies were informed and passengers were taken cared of by the shipping company’s land-based officers and all necessary assistance such as food, baggage handling and transfers were extended to minimize inconvenience to passengers,” said Bimsy Mapa, executive vice president for the Shipping business unit of the 2GO Group of companies.
Mapa added that there were no incidences of any damaged cargos as these were also transferred to other ships to ensure timely delivery to 2GO Freight’s clients.
2GO Group Management, which operates MV St. Gregory the Great decided to cancel the vessel’s remaining voyages until maximum compliance to safety standards have been restored.
2GO Travel, is the new brand name of the country’s leading passenger ships Negros Navigation, Superferry, Cebu Ferries and Supercat.