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Fastcraft hit cargo vessel, 43 hurt

First Posted 15:29:00 02/04/2008

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CEBU CITY, Philippines ? Forty-three passengers were injured when a passenger fastcraft vessel rammed into a cargo barge anchored at the port of Tagbilaran City, Bohol, on Saturday night.

Eight of the 43 passengers of Ocean jet fast ferry were confined in three different hospitals and one clinic in Bohol, said Petty Officer 3 Arnulfo Gesultura of Coastguard Central Visayas headquarters.

He identified the eight as Jocelyn Calolo, Michael Bacquia, Rodel Cajote, Camel Mae Buan, Michelle Paras, Arnel Belocura, Julie Ann Gonzales, and Cecil Yap, who broke her leg.

The 35 others suffered minor injuries and were allowed to go home after they were treated, said Gesultura.

Ocean Jet left Pier 1 in Cebu City for Tagbilaran City at 6:20 p.m. on Saturday. Some 140 passengers were onboard.

According to Gesultura, the fastcraft arrived at the Tagbilaran port about 8:15 p.m. As it was about to dock, the fastcraft hit and damaged the middle part on the right side of the Valerie cargo. The Ocean jet?s bow was wrecked.

Gesultura said the coast guard officials in Tagbilaran had conducted ocular inspections on both vessels.

Petty officer Zenon Lumarda of the Tagbilaran Coast Guard said Captain Domingo Huelar, the fastferry?s skipper, complained that it was hard to see the cargo vessel because its lights were turned off.

The cargo vessel arrived at the Tagbilaran port on Friday to deliver bags of sand from Hindang town in Leyte.

Based on the report, both vessels were later given a go-signal to travel. The Ocean Jet fastferry was allowed to leave Tagbilaran port at around 9 a.m. on Sunday morning for emergency repair in Cebu.

But Huelar and Emmanuel Corpus, the cargo vessel captain, were ordered to do a marine protest to the Board of Marine Inquiry, which would look into the accident.

The rest of the injured passengers include: Paulito Guillena, Narcisa Glover, Narcisa Calorfort, Jessica Moreno, Remegio Arana, Luis Arana, Luisa Dolleser, Melencio Barajun, Gaudencio Salahid, Fidela Bantal, Rosa Galoso, Alexander Realito, Mauas Orchestra, Dominador Delantar, Abegail Huan, Erlina Fernando, Teresita Guivedo, Sheila Lou Caballos, Orpin Baracao, Dusten Sariemento, Jeniffer Sarmiento, Cecilio Melallos, Marnes Manlagina, Calixto Ricardo, Nino Rey and Susana Dolleson and Jonah Tabaranza. /Correspondent Chris A. Ligan

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