ROUGH seas forced some vessels to return to their port of origin, while other shipping companies cancelled their trip last Saturday and yesterday, stranding an unspecified number of passengers in the different ports of Cebu.
The state weather bureau Pagasa issued a gale warning yesterday to alert fishermen and small seacraft on the dismal sea travel conditions. It said strong winds have affected the Visayas and eastern Mindanao.
The seaboards of Visayas and the western and southern seaboards of Southern Luzon will be rough to very rough, with the size of the waves ranging from 3.4 to 4.5 meters.
“Fishing boats and other small seacraft are advised not to venture into the sea while larger sea vessels are alerted against big waves,” read the Pagasa gale warning issued at 5 a.m. yesterday.
Ella Comahig, weather forecaster of Pagasa Mactan said, the big waves were caused by the habagat or southwest monsoon enhanced by tropical storm Gener.
Star craft vessels of the Sea Highway Carrier Inc. which operates fastcraft in the Bohol decided to cancel all their trips yesterday.
MV Starcraft 1 which carried 80 passengers left Pier 1 for Tubigon Bohol at 5:45 am yesterday.
But it sailed back to Cebu City after noticing the big waves along the Lawis Ledge, Cebu Coast Guard Station Commander Rolando Punzalan said.
MV Starcraft 5 which left at 6 am for Getafe Bohol with 27 passengers also sailed back to Cebu City.
Because of the situation, the management of Starcraft no longer issued tickets for their next trips on Sunday while MV Jun Mar 2 cancelled its 5:30 a.m. trip from Camotes to Danao City.
It was also learned that Cokaliong Shipping Lines cancelled its 12 noon trip for Palompon Leyte on Sunday, to the dismay of passengers who already went to the port.
Clemer Lines also suspended all trips for Getafe Bohol since Sunday morning.
Around 20 passengers were waiting outside the company’s office in Pier 1.
Punzalan said more vessels are expected to suspend their trips yesterday afternoon until evening.
On Saturday, Punzalan said Starcraft 1 also canceled its trip for Tubigon at 2pm while MV Super Shuttle Ferry 3 with 25 passengers called off its trip from Hagnaya port to Cebu City at 2:30 pm.
Punzalan said most of the stranded passengers returned home and the rest waited at the port terminal. /Correspondent Jhunnex Napallacan