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Indonesian Navy Recovers Crewman Eight Hours After Falling From Tanker

man overboard recovered in Indonesia
Indonesian Navy recovered a man overboard in a rigid hull inflatable boat and returned him to his tanker (TNIAL)

Published May 10, 2021 3:51 PM by The Maritime Executive

[Brief] The Indonesian Navy is reporting a successful man-overboard search from a tanker sailing through its waters. The missing sailor was rescued eight hours after he was reported missing. After medical treatment he has been returned to his ship.

According to reports from the Navy, a distress call was recorded shortly after midnight local time on May 7. A 50,200 dwt product tanker, the Japanese-owned MT St. Katherinen, reported that one of its 17 crewmembers was missing and believed to have gone overboard. At the time of the report, the Singapore-flagged tanker was sailing from Vladianca, Russia with a cargo of 21,000 tons of oi bound for Malaysia. It was sailing in the North Natuna Sea, west of Borneo heading for the Singapore Strait.

The tanker reported that it was conducting a search for the missing crewmember and requested assistance from the local authorities.

An Indonesia navy ship, the John Lie-358 was reported to be in the area and dispatched to assist in the search. The Indonesia Navy reports that that their vessel was on scene within two hours of the MOB call. They began a SAR operation using a standard rectangular search pattern.

"The victim was successfully evacuated in a safe condition, but experienced hypothermia after floating for about eight hours. After receiving initial treatment by the KRI Health Officer, the victim was returned to MT. St. Katherinen," said the KRI Commander of John Lie-358.

No details were provided on how the sailor, a 22-year-old named Avoldin Artem, fell overboard or how he survived in the water for eight hours. He was located about five nautical miles from his ship.

The Indonesians reported that they received additional information from other ships operating in the area.

It was the second positive report of a successful MOB search recently. In February, a small cargo vessel operating in the South Pacific reported that its chief engineer had gone overboard. After a 14-hour search he was found by his own vessel and brought safely back aboard.