AT LEAST 87 passengers of a Montenegro Lines ship were injured when the vessel carrying them
accidentally hit a rock formation along the shoreline of Tabias Island in Calatrava, Romblon early
morning yesterday, police said.
The injured passengers were immediately taken to the nearest hospital for medical attention
shortly after M/V Matilde arrived at the Romblon Port, said Police Regional Office 4-B director, Chief
Superintendent Wilben M. Mayor.
Mayor said their investigation showed that the M/V Matilde skippered by Captain Bernardino
Canapit accidentally hit the cliff along the shoreline of Tabias Island at 4:30 a.m. yesterday. He said
that the ship which was carrying a total of 251 passengers was travelling on its regular route from the
Port of Odiongan to the Port of Romblon when it accidentally struck the rock formation.
The impact also damaged four motor vehicles being carried by the ship, Mayor said.
The official said the injured passengers were immediately assisted by personnel from the
Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, the Bureau of Fire Personnel, Red Cross
Romblon, the Rural Health Unit and all personnel of the Romblon Municipal Police Station.
During initial questioning, the ship captain claimed he failed to see the rock formation due to
zero visibility triggered by heavy rains in the area. Mayor said that passengers disputed the skipper’s
Mayor said the Coast Guard has launched a thorough investigation into the incident. He said that
the four motor vehicles suffered an estimated P500,000 worth of damage after they rumbled on the deck
during the impact.
Mayor said that the actual cost of damage to the ship is still being determined.