Divers Find Last Missing Crewmember of Sunken Dredger
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) announced Friday that divers have found the final missing crewmember of the dredger JBB De Rong 19, which collided with the tanker Kartika Segara and capsized in the Strait of Singapore two months ago.
The discovery brings the number of confirmed dead to five crewmembers. Two bodies were found the day of the sinking, and two others were later recovered from the water – one about two nm north of Tanjung Sengkuang, Indonesia, and another south of Raffles Lighthouse in Singapore. Seven Chinese crewmembers of the De Rong 19 were rescued and taken to a hospital. None of the Segara’s crew were harmed.
The SAR effort involved five aircraft from the Republic of Singapore Air Force, 21 vessels from the MPA, the Republic of Singapore Navy, Singapore Police Coast Guard and Singapore Civil Defence Force; and eight civilian vessels from PSA Marine and POSH SEMCO. Over 280 personnel were involved in the operation.
In the early hours of September 13, the Indonesian-flagged tanker Kartika Segara got under way from an anchorage near Bukom Island, Singapore. AIS data showed that she headed southeast towards the Singapore Strait, making about seven knots, and at 0028 hours she began to cross the westbound traffic flow in a crossing area of the traffic separation scheme. Her heading put her on a course to intercept the dredger, and she did not appear to alter her course or speed. She struck the JBB De Rong 19 on the starboard side at 0038. After the collision, the dredger capsized and partially sank, with disastrous consequences for the crewmembers on board.
The MPA is investigating the cause of the accident.