1,300 Superferry passengers stranded

06/07/2010 - CEBU, Philippines - Over a thousand passengers of a Zamboanga City-bound vessel were stranded in Cebu more than 24 hours after one of the ship’s auxiliary engines conked out.

MV Superferry 19 of Aboitiz Shipping Lines was forced to dock at the port of Cebu since Saturday because of what they described as a minor engine trouble. The vessel however was able to sail last night after it was declared seaworthy by the Maritime Industry Authority.

The ship sailed last Friday from Manila bound for Cebu and Zamboanga City. It arrived in Cebu last Saturday morning and it was supposed to sail on to Zamboanga at 12:00 noon

However, the auxiliary engine no. 2 of the ship malfunctioned shortly after it departed Cebu prompting the captain, Teofilo Aureo Jr., to go back and arrived pier 6 at 6 p.m. on the same day.

According to the captain, the engine that conked out was the generator supplying power to the ship. Auxiliary engine no. 2 is specifically for the air conditioning units but it reportedly failed to supply enough power.

Because passengers, especially those in the cabins, complained of the poor ventilation, the captain ordered to return to the Cebu port for the repair of the generator.

It is also to double check if the other engines are working well to avoid another inconvenience.

MARINA officials conducted the inspection twice, first at 12 midnight yesterday and another at 1 pm. After ensuring that the vessel is already sea worthy, MARINA issued the order for the resumption of authorized route and left Cebu at 6 p.m. last night.

MARINA Officer-in-charge Philips Geniston said that there were 24 passengers who decided to transfer to another vessel, eight passengers who bought their ticket here decided to postpone their trip and went home while the rest stayed put and waited until the crew finished the repairs.

The vessel was originally carrying more than 1,300 passengers, 1,076 of which are adults, there are 100 children, 74 infants, and 151 crew members, according to Philippine Coast Guard.

Geniston said that the passengers were provided by the company complete meals since Saturday. He said that it was only a minor incident so no one was hurt. (Freeman)

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