THE Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) 7 has suspended the operation of mv Mika Mari 3 after its engine conked out in the waters off the Camotes Islands on Monday afternoon, March 2, 2020.
The roll on-roll off (roro) vessel operated by Jomalia Shipping Corp. left the port of Danao City at 2:30 p.m. It later experienced engine trouble en route to Consuelo Port in San Francisco, Camotes, and it had drifted for minutes before the coast guard personnel located it. Mv Mika Mari 3 had 133 passengers and 17 crew members, including 16 cargoes, at the time. No one was hurt in the incident.
The Marina 7 decided to inspect and audit all the vessels operated by Jomalia as mv Mika Mari 3 was not its first vessel that figured in an incident at sea.
Marina 7 Director Marc Anthony Pascua said his office “has undertaken concrete measures that are aimed at preventing putting the lives of their passengers and crew from at undue risks.”
“The public and the maritime industry stakeholders are hereby assured of this agency’s continuing efforts of ensuring maritime safety, and of giving the public convenient and secured travel especially in this season of Lent,” he said.
On July 15, 2019, sacks of rice fell off mv Mika Mari 6 at the Danao City port. Jomalia’s mv Island RoRo 1 capsized at the Consuelo Port on Aug. 31. In less than 24 hours, Sept. 1, mv Mika Mari 8 tilted on its side at the same port.
Fifty-six days later, on Oct. 27, mv Mika Mari 3 ran aground about 200 meters off Consuelo Port.
The Marina 7 ordered Mika’s captain to submit a marine protest in 24 hours after the incident. On Tuesday afternoon, March 3, the captain had yet to submit the document, which is needed before the Marina 7 can start its investigation.
Marina 7 legal officer Daniel Martin Oral said the captain will be fined P5,000 if the latter fails to submit the marine protest.
The vessel’s master and chief engineers were also served with an order to show cause, or to explain the events that led to the incident.
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) substation in Camotes received the distress signal from mv Mika Mari 3.
“Initial info revealed that the cooling system of the distressed vessel malfunctioned that caused its main engine to overheat and eventually fail,” said PCG 7 spokesperson LTJG Eric Salcedo.
The Camotes substation dispatched a team onboard a motorbanca, and they located mv Mika Mari 3 drifting around three kilometers off the Consuelo Port.
Jomalia’s other vessel LCT JSC1 helped drag mv Mika Mari 3 towards Consuelo Port. The two vessels docked at 6:09 p.m. All passengers and crew members were safe. (HBL / KAL)