A Bohol Provincial Board Member (BM) on Friday raised complaints against Ocean Jet for its crew’s alleged poor effort of keeping passengers informed after an engine failure which occurred mid-sea last week.
BM Gloria Gementiza who was on board the vessel during the incident said in her privilege speech during the Sangguniang Panlalawigan’s regular session that passengers were left clueless on the situation for several minutes as they were adrift with no engine running.
The Ocean Jet fastcraft was traveling from Dumaguete City to Tagbilaran City when one of its engines reportedly conked out on May 6.
“After an hour, at mid-sea, I noticed that the boat stopped and the engine was not running,” said Gementiza. “Inside 20 minutes, there was no authorized person who told us on what happened to the vessel.”
According to Gementiza, the passengers who remained unaware of the situation took the initiative of putting on their life jackets.
The provincial legislator also pointed out that when the crew finally made an official announcement, it was only delivered in Bisaya, noting that it was likely that foreign nationals and those who do not understand the language were on board.
“There was a man who made an announcement without using the sound system which was broken informing us that the boat was safe already and we will be travelling with one less engine as it malfunctioned,” she said.
Meanwhile, another passenger asked for a sphygmomanometer as her blood pressure rose amid the incident but the crew members were unable to provide one.
“They could not provide it [sphygmomanometer]. Even vans-for-rent are required to carry first aid kits, even more so with the vessel which handles more passengers,” Gementiza added.
The fastcraft reportedly arrived in Tagbilaran City at around 10 p.m. instead of 7: 30 p.m.
Officials of the fastcraft are set to attend an inquiry of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to officially extend their statement regarding the incident.
Ocean Jet is currently the only fastcraft which plies the Tagbilaran-Dumagute and vice versa route. (Rey Tutas)