Trips back to normal after ferry blaze
ARGAO-TAGBILARAN ROUTE Regular trips from the southern town of Argao, Cebu to Tagbilaran City, Bohol has immediately resumed yesterday after the lone vessel serving the route caught fire Sunday noon.
The Philippine Coast Guard said that Lite Shipping Corporation has replaced M/V Lite Ferry 28 with its sister vessel M/V Lite Ferry 26, also a roll-on roll-off vessel. The ship’s trip opened at 5 a.m. yesterday from Taloot wharf in Argao to Tagbilaran City.
Coast Guard Argao substation commander Chief Petty Officer Gerry Patenio said the Lite Ferry passenger and cargo vessel is the only ship serving the route.
Patenio said that the two scheduled trips last Sunday were cancelled after the fire incident.
M/V Lite Ferry 28 caught fire on Sunday before it reached the Taloot wharf. All 92 passengers, including four minors, and the crew members were safely rescued. The vessel departed from Tagbilaran City at 8 a.m. on Sunday and was scheduled to arrive at 11 a.m.
According to one passenger, at 10:40 a.m. one of the crew members announced that the vessel was about to dock Taloot wharf. Minutes later, people started to panic after seeing dark smoke coming out from the engine room.
Fortunately the passengers were transported to safety before the fire grew bigger. According to the initial investigation of CGSS-Argao, the fire started from the overheated exhaust manifold at the engine room. The ill-fated Lite Ferry 28 was towed yesterday to Ouano Wharf in Mandaue City for a hull inspection by the Maritime Industry Authority.