MASBATE CITY, Feb. 7 (PIA) -- For ferrying more than twice their respective passenger capacity, two commercial vessels in San Fernando are facing the prospect of being grounded by the Maritime Industry Authority.
The MB Superstar-001 and MB Superstar-004 were caught on Thursday morning by members of the Philippine Coast Guard detachment in Bulan, Sorsogon with excess passengers of 58 and 56, respectively.
PCG spokesperson Algier Ricafrente said the detachment responded to a call from Petty Officer Malthus Floresta of PCG detachment in San Jacinto at around 10:00 a.m. informing it about the unauthorized trip of MB Superstar-001 and MB Superstar-004.
“On (their) arrival at Pier 1 in Bulan, they were intercepted by PCG personnel who immediately boarded the boats and counted the passengers,” he said.
The headcount showed 108 passengers aboard MB Superstar-001 and 106 passengers on MB Superstar-004. Their permits from MARINA, the agency that regulates the maritime industry, prohibit them from loading more than 50 passengers.
According to Ricafrente, the PCG will submit a “maritime violation report” to MARINA in Legazpi City.
He said the report was already issued to the crew and the vessels’ owner, Nilo Q. Barias, who is based in San Fernando.
In addition to “sailing with excess passengers,” MB Superstar-004 was also booked for “failure to observe schedule of trips frequency.”
After a series of fatal accidents hit the country’s maritime industry, MARINA and PCG launched a serious crackdown on operators who disregard the safety of their passengers. (MAL/EAD-PIA Masbate)