Ferry Sinks in Indonesia

The ferry Wihan Sejahtera at berth (file photo)

By MarEx 2015-11-16 10:44:21

On the morning of November 16, the Indonesian ro/pax ferry Wihan Sejahtera listed, capsized and sank just a quarter mile off at the port of Surabaya, Indonesia.

According to local media, the ship began taking on water shortly after leaving her berth, and her crew turned her to head back to the dock immediately. She quickly listed to starboard on the way back. Some survivors reported that they had felt a sharp jolt before the ship began to list, potentially indicating an allision.

Since the ship encountered trouble so close to shore, the sinking unfolded gradually, and there were so many other vessels on hand to help, casualties appear to have been minimal. Images of the sinking show that at least fourteen tugs and launches arrived to help by the time she rolled over. About 175 people were rescued from the ferry and 25 were taken to the hospital.

The ro/pax ferry also had over forty heavy trucks and a variety of smaller vehicles on board.

The number of people rescued exceeded the vessel's official count of 153 passengers and crew embarked, so no definitive account of losses will be available until after divers search the wreck. No one was reported missing as of Monday, and a local police official told media that he was confident that no one remained unaccounted for. 

The 4,000 gt Wihand Sejahtera (formerly Cozy Island) was built in 1985. She was rated for over 100 cars and 700 passengers.