Sulpicio Lines name change couldn’t prevent accident

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06:55 AM August 20th, 2013

August 20th, 2013 06:55 AM

Sulpicio Lines Inc. changed its name to Philippine Span Asia Carrier Corp. (PSACC) following the 2008 sinking of its biggest passenger vessel in Romblon. The change in name, however, has not prevented another of the company’s ship from again figuring in accident. AP FILE PHOTO

CEBU CITY, Philippines—Four years ago, Sulpicio Lines Inc. changed its name to Philippine Span Asia Carrier Corp. (PSACC) following the 2008 sinking of its biggest passenger vessel in Romblon.

Despite the name change, PSACC is again involved in a sea accident with the collision of its cargo vessel with a passenger ferry on Friday, which has left at least 55 persons dead and 65 others missing.

According to Jordan Go, president and CEO of PSACC, the collision between the Sulpicio Express Siete and 2GO’s St. Thomas of Aquinas ferry was the first involving the company since they decided to change its name in 2009.

He said it was a family decision to focus on the freight shipping business instead of passenger ships after the sinking of the Princess of the Stars in Romblon at the height of Typhoon “Frank” on June 21, 2008.

“It was to have a fresh start,” he told the Inquirer in a phone interview on Saturday.

The former Sulpicio Lines, which would have celebrated its 40th anniversary this year, had 45 sea accidents from 1980 to 2008, according to records at www.lloydsmiu.com., the website of Lloyd’s List Intelligence, a business information service dedicated to the global maritime industry.

The figures included the sinking of the MV Doña Paz in December 1987, dubbed as the world’s worst peacetime sea tragedy, which left more than 4,000 people dead.

After the Princess of the Stars tragedy, where 850 died, the family decided to focus on cargo vessels rather than passenger ships and changed the name of the company to PSACC.—Connie E. Fernandez, Inquirer Visayas; Inquirer Research

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