Forty-eight passengers and 30 officers and crew of MV Lapu-Lapu Ferry 1 were stranded in the seawaters off Barangay Camoboan, Tabogon yesterday dawn after vessel experienced an engine trouble.
Twenty-five passengers were rescued by elements of Tabogon police and were safely transported to Cebu City while the remaining 23 passengers remained inside the vessel and waited for the tug boat to tow the vessel to Pier 3 in Cebu City.
The vessel's engine reportedly died while they were in the seawaters of Bogo City and had been floating for more than two hours when the incident was discovered at 6:30 in the morning.
The vessel left Kataingan, Masbate port at 7 p.m. on Thursday and supposed to reach Cebu City at 5:30 p.m. yesterday but due to the incident, the vessel is expected to arrive at 9:30 last night.
PO3 Jesus Suan, Tabogon police investigator, told The FREEMAN they used four pump boats to rescue the 25 passengers with the help of some fishermen.
"Among gipasakay og bus paingon sa siyudad ang uban wala lang nanganaog," Suan said.
Suan said they believe the rough sea caused the engine to shut off.
Commander Rolando Punzalan, chief of Philippine Coast Guard-Cebu said at 1:32 p.m. yesterday, he received a radio message from Captain Allan Capero of MV Lapu-Lapu Ferry 8 asking his permission to assist the stranded vessel.
However, Captain Tomas Arcenal Jr. of MV Lapu-Lapu Ferry 1 claimed everyone on board was safe.
Punzalan added that the incident was a simple case of vessel problem but they still have to determine if the vessel has damage before they will let it travel again for safety.
"Whatever the damage may be, after the MARINA checks it, they will be able to resume operation," he said.