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Allision Damage Forces Indonesian Ferry to Intentionally Run Aground

Ferry Mercandia VIII in Helsingor harbor
Mercandia VIII, a sister ship of Labitra Karina (file image courtesy Sinikka Halme / CC BY-SA 4.0)

Published Apr 3, 2023 6:55 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Sunday, a ferry struck an anchored ro/pax off the northwestern tip of Java, Indonesia, prompting the crew of the stricken vessel to intentionally ground their ship. 

At about 0700 hours on Sunday morning, the ferry Mabuhay Nusuntara approached the ro/pax KMP Labitra Karina (ex name Superflex Mike) as the latter vessel lay at anchor at the port of Merak, Banten province. The crew of the Labitra noticed that the Nusuntara was on a collision course, and they attempted to contact the approaching ship multiple times over VHF, a regional transport safety official told Detik News. 

The Mabuhay did not respond to the VHF calls and continued to approach until she struck the Labitra, causing multiple hull penetrations and flooding. Realizing the risk of sinking, the crew of Labitra started the engine, heaved anchor and ran their ship aground in shallow waters off Hotel Marak Beach, the official said. A spokesman for the Labitra's operator confirmed that the master had been instructed to intentionally ground the vessel. 

The crew of the Labitra successfully evacuated, except for a small number who stayed behind to manage the casualty response. No passengers were aboard at the time, and no injuries were reported. 

It was the second allision involving the Mabuhay Nusuntara in as many months. In February, the ro/pax ship struck a car loading ramp at a pier in Merak, damaging the ramp. 

Top image: Mercandia VIII, a sister ship of Labitra Karina (file image courtesy Sinikka Halme / CC BY-SA 4.0)