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CEBU, Philippines – A total of 25 passengers were injured when the MV St. Jhudiel, a fast craft of SuperCat, collided with the LCT Poseidon 23 along the waters of the Mactan Channel in Cebu on Sunday afternoon, May 21.
“As per the investigation, the cause of the collision with the MV St. Jhudiel of Supercat [and LCT Poseidon 23] was a steering casualty and when they reached off of Barangay Looc, near the Mactan Bridge, they were having problems with maneuvering,” Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Cebu Deputy Commander CG Ensign Reynann Lagare Jr. said in a statement.
It was also found that the MV St. Jhudiel also experienced engine failure before to the collision. The incident was reported by officials at around 2:44 pm Sunday.
Based on PCG’s official report, the MV St. Jhudiel sailed from Ormoc City to Cebu City with 208 passengers. Meanwhile, the LCT Poseidon 23 carried 20 drivers/cargo helpers and 17 rolling cargoes.
Netizen Naveen Isnardo Bharwani was able to capture the collision in real time in a video posted on his Facebook.
After the incident, Lagare said that 13 injured passengers were immediately sent to the University of Cebu Medical Center in Mandaue City while the remaining passengers were brought to the Navy Forces Central in Lapu-Lapu City.
“The Coast Guard Marine Environmental Protection Force – Central Visayas was also dispatched to conduct an oil spill assessment,” said the PCG statement.
The PCG central station in Cebu advised the vessels’ masters to file marine protests as the casualty investigation was ongoing.
The management of shipping company Supercat apologized in a statement released on Monday, May 22, for the harm and inconvenience caused by the incident involving their vessel, the MV St. Jhudiel.
“Our primary concern now is to ensure that all those who sustained injuries are properly cared for,” their statement read.
The company assured the public that it would conduct its own investigation, cooperate with the authorities, and implement actions to prevent another incident.
John Sitchon is an Aries Rufo Journalism Fellow.