by Mike Baylon
The Deck Loading Ship “LCT 378” capsized and sank off the town of Catarman in the western side of Camiguin Friday afternoon, January 9, 2015, in light to moderate seas spawned by the northeast monsoon that is locally known as amihan. Various reports put 26 or 28 crewmen have been rescued at sea by the passing “Tong Ying”, a big bulk carrier owned by Da Tong Shipping and managed by Ever Gain Shipping, both of Qingdao, China. “LCT 378” and “Tong Ying” are both MMSI-equipped. MMSI stands for “Maritime Mobile Ship Identity”, an automatic system for identifying and calling ships and land stations.
She was a Mongolian-flagged Deck Loading Ship owned and managed by Cebu Sea Charterers of Cebu. She was chartered to carry limestone from the Philippine Mining and Service Corporation (PMSC) in Garcia Hernandez, Bohol to the sintering plant of Philippine Sinter Corporation in Villanueva, Misamis Oriental.
The vessel was built by Jiangsu Longli Heavy Industry in Yangzhou, China. She has the ID IMO 9706982 with MMSI Code 457 900078. She measured 87.76 meters by 17.0 meters with a depth of 4.3 meters with a cubic volume of 1,770 gross tons and a usable space of 991 net tons. She was powered by Weichai and developing 900 kilowatts.
Open-decked ships carrying earth or ore have been known to capsize in rainy weather and rolling seas. Liquefication and shifting of cargo similar to” free surface effect” can happen in these conditions. Even the carrying capacity of the vessel measured in deadweight tons can be exceeded with the addition of water.
The Coast Guard has promised an investigation into the sinking.
[Ship Data Source: Grosstonnage.com]