The Marine Inquiry Hearing started begin of this week in Cebu City. The two responsible captains accuse each other for having been on the wrong lane.
The captain of the sunken ferry, M/V Saint Thomas Aquinas, said: ”On my radar, it appeared that the ship (Sulpicio Express Siete) was occupying my lane. When the distance between the two ships was around 2.6 nautical miles, I tried to call the other ship through radio. We kept calling her but there was no response.”
The captain of Sulpicio Express Siete says, it was the Saint Thomas Aquinas that was on the wrong lane.
A third captain who was in the waters off Cebu at the moment of the collision confirmed that the outgoing Sulpicio used the inbound lane, prompting his decision to overtake on its starboard (right side of the ship).
There seems to have been a radio communication problem between the two ships. Because of interferences in marine communication channel 16, the captain of the Saint Thomas Aquinas seems to have asked the Sulpicio Express Siete to change radio channel to channel 12. But never got an answer. This request has been confirmed by the captain of the third ship.
The tracks of both ships observed on “MarineTraffic.com” do not allow any conclusion because they only show the tracks but not the history.