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Solar 1’s captain, crew have expired papers

August 25, 2006

THE Special Board of Marine Inquiry (SBMI) has summoned officials of the Sunshine Maritime Development Corp. for allowing its sunken ship, M/T Solar 1, to be manned by a captain and crew members with expired papers, TV Patrol World reported Friday.

Initial investigations conducted by SBMI showed that the certification of Norberto Aguro, the oil tanker’s captain, for General Tanker Familiarization and Advance Training on Chemical Tanker Operations expired in March 2002.

The report added that Aguro’s Certificate of Competency is only for a chemical tanker and that he has no training to man specialized oil tankers, which according to SBMI, are violations of Marine Memo Circular 83.

SBMI also discovered that Solar 1 crew members Herminio Renger, Jesse Angel, Reynaldo Torio and Victor Morados have expired certificates for General Tanker Familiarization.

The panel asked the Professional Regulation Commission to determine if Aguro and the four crewmen violated PRC regulations by using expired licenses and certificates.

The TV Patrol World report said SBMI is also questioning the oil tanker’s owner use of expired Interim Documents of Compliance. SBMI Chairman Danilo Abinoja said the certificate is proof that a ship has proper safety system and avoids tragedies at sea.

The report said Aguro and his crew, officials of the Sunshine Maritime Development Corp. and Petron Corp. are set to face the board Tuesday and Wednesday next week.

The oil tanker sank last August 11 off the coast of Guimaras island in Iloilo province. The tanker has been leaking oil since, which affected coastal villages of the province.

(Originally published on the ABS-CBN News web site, Aug. 25, 2006.)

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