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Coast Guard probes grounding of fast craft on Siquijor reefs

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By Philippine News Agency

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in Negros Oriental is investigating the circumstances surrounding the running aground of the MV Ocean Jet 15 fastcraft on the reefs in nearby Siquijor island-province over the weekend.

The MV Ocean Jet 15 remains grounded on a reef in Cangalwang, Siquijor after it tried to avoid hitting four fishing bancas while en route to Dumaguete. (Photo courtesy of Coast Guard-Negros Oriental.)

The MV Ocean Jet 15 remains grounded on a reef in Cangalwang, Siquijor after it tried to avoid hitting four fishing bancas while en route to Dumaguete. (Coast Guard-Negros Oriental/PNA/ MANILA BULLETIN)

PCG-Negros Oriental chief Lt. Junior Grade Donna Liza Ramacho on Tuesday disclosed that the fastcraft remains aground on the reefs in Cangalwang, Barangay Tongo in Siquijor, Siquijor.

Siquijor is part of the coverage area of the PCG-Negros Oriental.

Pending investigation, it cannot be removed from its current location unless with the guidance and supervision of the Coast Guard, she said.

Also, the towing of the vessel has to be done by a tugboat so as not to cause further damage to the reefs, she added.

According to Ramacho, the MV Ocean Jet 15 was forced to change course after departing from Siquijor to Dumaguete on Sunday morning to avoid a collision with four fishing bancas in its path.

A report from the Coast Guard said 32 people onboard the said fastcraft were rescued after it ran aground on the reef.

Initial investigation revealed that the MV Ocean Jet, skippered by Capt. Ireneo Cabrera, departed from the Siquijor Port around 6 a.m. but at around 6:10 a.m., he noticed that four fishing boats were approaching them.

To avoid hitting the fishermen and their vessels in its path, the boat captain said he had to alter his course and in so doing, ran aground on the reefs instead, said Lt. Junior Grade Ramacho.

No one was hurt as all passengers and crew members were reported to be in good physical condition, the Coast Guard commander said.

Meanwhile, the Ocean Jet Shipping Lines has been asked to file a marine protest in relation to the incident, Ramacho added.

The Coast Guard has not also filed any violations against the said vessel pending the results of the investigation.

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