By Raymond Carl Dela Cruz

MISHAP. Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) personnel with an injured passenger after the collision between passenger ferry Ocean Jet 6 and water taxi Hop & Go 1 in waters near Verde Island in Batangas City on Wednesday (Jan. 31, 2024). The captain and a crew member died plus two passengers were injured aboard the Hop & Go 1 during the incident. (Photo courtesy of PCG)

MANILA – Two died and several others were injured in a collision between a passenger ferry and a water taxi in waters off Verde Island in Batangas on Wednesday.

In a situation report, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said the passenger ferry Ocean Jet 6 was on its way to Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro from Batangas, while the water taxi Hop & Go 1 was en route to Batangas from Puerto Galera when the incident occurred.

Coast Guard Station Batangas commander Capt. Jerome Jeciel reported that the captain and a crew member of Hop & Go 1 died, while two Chinese passengers were wounded.

The water taxi was carrying two other Chinese passengers and one Swedish passenger during the incident.

The two remaining crew members of Hop & Go 1 gave their sworn statements at the PCG Substation Puerto Galera after the incident.

“In total, Hop & Go 1 had four Filipino crew and five foreign passengers on board,” Jeciel said.

On the other hand, all 115 passengers and 19 crew members of Ocean Jet 6 were safe and in good physical condition when they arrived at Calapan Port.

“The responding team is towing Hop & Go 1 to Puerto Galera, where its yard is located,” he said.

The wounded passengers have been given medical assistance while authorities are coordinating with the bereaved families of the two Filipino crew.

PCG commander Adm. Ronnie Gil Gavan has ordered an investigation into the collision to determine the cause of the accident. (PNA)