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Explosion Kills Seafarer Aboard Taiwanese Bulker

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File image courtesy U-Ming Marine

By The Maritime Executive 2019-10-29 17:11:06

On Monday, an explosion occurred aboard the bulker Cape India while she was under way off the coast of East Kalimantan, claiming the life of a Chinese seafarer, according to Indonesian authorities.

At about 1700 hours Monday, the command center for Indonesia's National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) received a request for assistance from the Cape India. The vessel's crew reported that a seafarer had been badly injured in an explosion and required medical evacuation, according to Basarnas. 

Basarnas' central command center forwarded the alert to the agency's station in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan. At 0400 hours Tuesday, a joint response team of Basarnas personnel, military servicemembers and health care providers got under way to rendezvous with the Cape India, according to Basarnas official Octavianto. (One-word names are common in Indonesia.) At 0540, the Cape India's crew lowered the victim some 30 feet down to the responders' rescue launch using a rope, and the team got under way for the return trip to Balikpapan. 

During the return voyage, the team determined that the victim had been deceased for some time. They arrived at Semayang Port at about 0800 hours and transferred the victim to a local hospital.

Basarnas has identified the victim as Chinese national He Fengzhi, 26.

The Singapore-flagged, Taiwanese-managed Cape India is a 190,000 dwt capesize bulker built in 2014. As of Tuesday night she was under way once more, bound for Australia.