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22 August 2011

Lacierda cited Sec. Mar Roxas on M/V Island Ferry maritime incident

Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda:
On the M/V Island Ferry Fastcraft maritime incident
[Released on August 22, 2011]
At around noontime yesterday, M/V Island Ferry Fastcraft I’s engines caught fire while en route from Tubigon, Bohol to Cebu. Initial investigations report faulty electrical wiring in the engine room as cause. Within two hours, the vessel sank about two miles off the port of Cebu, but the immediate response of the Philippine Coast Guard and commercial vessel M/V Seajet, together with the concerted efforts of concerned citizens both at sea and awaiting from the port of Cebu, rescued majority of the manifested 75 people on board. The survivors are now in Tubigon and are being attended to by the PCG, the local government, the fast craft’s owner, and various volunteer groups.
Initial reports indicate that two passengers and one crew, Chiefmate Abelardo Torevillas, perished in the incident. We sympathize with the families of the passengers lost to us by this tragedy, and lend hope to those whose loved ones are yet to be found and identified.
We recognize that more lives could have been lost were it not for the search and rescue team’s valiant efforts, the invaluable assistance extended by passing passenger vessels, and the heroism of our fisherfolk, who were among those first at the scene. We, too, cite the leadership of the DOTC Secretary Mar Roxas who quickly organized and mobilized a response unit upon knowledge of the vessel fire, thus averting what initially appeared to be a major maritime disaster.