The Trans Asia 5 passenger ship was successfully towed by a Philippine Coast Guard vessel to the port of Cagayan de Oro City. The passenger vessel was sailing with 677 passengers on board. The problems of the Trans Asia 5 started after an engine failure. The ship was stranded between Bohol and Siquijor.
M/V Trans Asia 5 was planned to reach Cebu sailing from CDO, but at about 50 nautical miles from CDO the engine of the ship failed. The owner of the vessel (Trans Asia Shipping Lines Inc.) tried to help the passenger ship by sending small vessel to tow safely the larger ship, but without success. The PCG-Northern Mindanao District had to interfere and to send a ship to help Trans Asia 5.
Trans Asia Shipping Lines Inc. decided to offer a refund to all passengers. An investigation will show if the company owner have to be blamed for the incident. Lt Junior Grade Robinson Madriaga, operations officer of the Coast Guard District Central Visayas said that the Trans Asia 5 departed from Cagayan de Oro City port for Cebu City at 3 pm two days ago.
The ship experienced engine problems at 12 midnight two days ago, around 7 to 8 nautical miles, east of Siquijor.
Trans Asia 5 drifted all night and in the morning was located 11.6 NM from Plaridel, Misamis Occidental.
Trans Asia Shipping Lines Inc. ordered the sister vessel MV Asia Pacific to go the location of the stranded ship and hours later the owner of Trans Asia 5 sent 2 tug boats for the rescue operation. After few hours, the Trans Asia 5 vessel was towed successfully. Strong winds did not help the rescue operation and caused the passenger ship to drift to Mindanao with speed of 2 knots.
The Philippines Coast Guard gave the passengers food and bottled water. They will be transferred to the rescue vessel and to the sister ship MV Asia Pacific.