Captain, crewmen of stray vessel sacked

Posted at 01/06/14 9:18 AM

BACOLOD CITY – The captain and crew who docked their roll-on, roll-off vessel in a wrong port on New Year’s Eve, as they were allegedly drunk while on duty, have been fired from their jobs.

Nancy Dy, owner of LCT Archangels Navistar, told Bombo Radyo last Saturday that they dismissed Capt. Lodovico Ursia, three more officers, and 13 crewmembers after learning about the incident.

Twenty-four passengers of LCT Archangels Navistar bound for Iloilo on Dec. 31 were unable to spend New Year’s Eve with their families after the ship docked in the Pulupandan port in Negros Occidental, some 30 kilometers south of this city.

The ship left the Bredco port here at 8:30 p.m. of Dec. 31 and would have reached Dumangas port in Iloilo within two hours.

However, the crew docked the ship instead in Pulupandan. The vessel had to pass through Guimaras Island, exending travel time to more than six hours.

The passengers panicked upon learning that they were at the wrong port. The crewmembers reportedly went into hiding to escape the passengers’ wrath.

The vessel eventually reached the Dumangas port at 2:55 a.m. of Jan. 1.

Dy said the ship now has a new captain and crewmembers.

She said their company strictly prohibits any kind of partying and drinking of liquor while a ship is sailing.

Ursia, however, denied that they were drunk while on duty, claiming that strong waves and heavy rains caused zero visibility, bringing the ship instead to Pulupandan and Guimaras Island.

Lt. Commander Glen Daraug, Philippine Coast Guard-Bacolod head, earlier had recommended the cancellation of Ursia’s license.