Coast Guard begins probe into sinking of RORO vessel

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Coast Guard begins probe into sinking of RORO vessel
Investigators hope to finish the M/V Starlite Atlantic probe after a week

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard’s Board of Marine Inquiry (BMI) convened on Tuesday, January 3, to investigate the sinking of a roll-on, roll-off (RORO) ship that sank off Batangas at the height of Typhoon Nina (Nock-ten) last December 26.  

At least one crew member of M/V Starlite Atlantic was killed while 18 others remain missing a week after the incident. 

BMI chairman Raul Belesario, commander of Coast Guard Station Batangas, said the inquiry will determine “circumstances, particularly the causal factors” that led to the sinking. It will not necessarily make conclusions about who is liable. 

“The investigation is not geared toward who is liable, not for criminal charges,” Belesario told reporters.

Belesario added that they have one week to finish the probe. “We want to fast-track it. If possible after a week there would be a result,” he said.

Only the crew of M/V Starlite Atlantic was onboard when it sank during the typhoon. It was neither carrying passengers nor cargo.

It had a total of 33 crew members and only 14 have been rescued as of this posting. Search operations continue for the 18 others still missing.

The body of the lone casualty, 21-year-old Lyka Banaynal, was found on the shores of nearby San Isidro, Batangas. –

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