Over 300 passengers affected as ship runs aground off Palawan’s waters

PCG Palawan 2Go.jpg
Cargo-passenger ship MV St. Francis Xavier runs aground approximately one nautical mile from the port of Coron in Palawan on June 8, 2024. (Photo courtesy of Philippine Coast Guard)


A cargo-passenger ship experienced engine trouble and hit shallow waters while preparing to depart Coron Port in Palawan on Saturday, June 8, affecting more than 300 passengers.

MV St. Francis Xavier was en route to Puerto Princesa City from the port of Coron when it lost all power during undocking maneuver around 4 p.m., the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) reported.

“While engineers worked on restoring power, the vessel's stern ran aground in a shallow area near the pier due to low tide,” the PCG said Sunday, June 9.

The incident took place approximately one nautical mile from the port of Coron and personnel from the Coast Guard Station (CGS) Northeastern Palawan responded to the scene.

The power onboard the cargo-passenger ship was restored at 10 p.m. but the vessel remained immobilized as its stern remained grounded.

As of 11:32 a.m Sunday, a total of 324 passengers were safely disembarked from the grounded ship, according to the Coast Guard.

The PCG said the MV St. Francis Xavier planned to return to the port of Coron for a thorough assessment before it continues its voyage.

“While the repair of its generator is still ongoing, a detailed inspection of the vessel will be conducted before allowing it to proceed to its next destination,” the agency said.

Meanwhile, personnel of the PCG’s Marine Environmental Protection Unit (MEPERU) and CGS Northeastern Palawan conducted an inspection on the vessel’s engine room and bilge. Fortunately, they did not find any sign of leakage or oil spill around the vessel. 

PCG divers were also deployed to perform an underwater hull assessment to ensure the integrity of the vessel and check for any needed repairs.