Fastcat vessel suffers anchor malfunction, 85 passengers onboard

More than a hundred people were found safe after a passenger ro-ro vessel experienced engine trouble while dropping its anchor in the vicinity waters off Surigao Anchorage Area, on 15 February 2024, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said on Monday.

The passenger vessel Fastcat M17 departed from Liloan Port en route to Surigao Baseport carrying 85 passengers and 44 crew members on board.

The captain Joni Capacite shared that around 7pm, the vessel was already at Surigao anchorage area, intending to dock at Surigao Baseport.

“However, while dropping anchor during the docking maneuver, the anchor winch suddenly malfunctioned,” the PCG said in a statement.

He directed his crew members to assess and conduct necessary interventions. The vessel crew also provided food and drinks to the passengers while fixing the malfunctioned machinery.

Moreover, the captain ordered the retrieval of the anchor through their chain block and assessed the wirings on the malfunctioned machinery.

Fastcat vessel suffers anchor malfunction, 85 passengers onboard

The PCG search and rescue team coordinated with the crew to safely transfer 22 passengers to the PCG patrol boat. The PCG patrol boat ferried the first batch of rescued passengers to the Surigao Baseport.

Other passengers with rolling cargoes decided to stay on board the vessel while waiting for it to dock securely at Surigao Baseport.

On February 16 the remaining 63 passengers on board Fastcat M17 were safely unloaded from the vessel at Surigao Baseport.

The PCG advised captain Capacite to file a marine protest relative to the incident.

According to the Coast Guard Station Surigao de Norte, Fastcat M17 is a passenger-cargo vessel with 723 GT and 229 NT, owned and operated by Archipelago Philippines Ferries Corporation.