Cargo ship sinks off Puerto Plata, overweight suspected cause
Puerto Plata.- A roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) cargo ship, “Two Brothers,” sank in the Atlantic Ocean while en route from Puerto Plata to the Turks & Caicos Islands. The ship, departing around 6:30 pm on Tuesday, reportedly succumbed to overweight issues on board.
Owned by two brothers known as “Los Mellos” from the Nuevo Renacer sector (Aguas Negras), the ship was carrying several vehicles and containers. The crew consisted of 12 men, including the captain, Valentín Polanco Vásquez (El Gringo). Among the crew were Fernando José Cordero Martínez, Ricardo Camacho, Darvin Valentín Polanco Calvo, and Julio Martín Guerrero. Six crew members were rescued by the cruise ship “Carnival Vista,” which was heading to the Amber Cove terminal in Puerto Plata.
There is unconfirmed information suggesting that five crew members were rescued by another boat that took them to Manzanillo. The search for another of the ship’s occupants continues.
The incident has sparked concern among the relatives of the crew, many of whom have gathered outside the Dominican Republic Navy’s Port Captaincy seeking information. Luis Marte, the uncle of crew member Luis Miguel Rotestan, expressed frustration over the authorities’ decision to allow the ship’s departure without considering the weather conditions and the vessel’s overload.
This tragic incident underscores the importance of adhering to maritime safety regulations, including those concerning ship loading and weather considerations, to prevent such occurrences.