I.M. Skaugen releases update on incident involving Norgas vessel off the coast of Indonesia
Norgas Carriers Pte Ltd of Singapore reports its operated vessel the Norgas Cathinka has anchored off the port of Bakauheni in Indonesia and local coast guards have now left the vessel.
The move follows an incident earlier today in which the vessel was involved in a collision with a Ro-Ro passenger ferry Bahuga Jaya near Merak.
A search and rescue operation, which was mounted immediately after the incident at 05.40 hours this morning, is continuing.
Local but as yet unconfirmed reports in Indonesia say that eight people are still missing. More than 100 passengers from the ferry were rescued.
We are awaiting Flag State and Classification society confirmation of seaworthiness of the vessel and the integrity of the cargo. Upon such approval we will relocate the vessel in cooperation with the authorities to a safe anchorage. This will enable the authorities to complete their investigation.
The Master has reported that our vessel sustained structural damage to its hull but there has been no ingress of water and there is no danger of the vessel sinking.
We can confirm the Norgas Cathinka's cargo of Propylene is secure and there is no pollution or environmental damage from our vessel.
Local police are still on board the vessel and our Master and crew are co-operating fully with on-going investigations.
A team of senior crisis response executives from Norgas has now arrived in Indonesia and Norgas Carriers stresses again it will continue to co-operate with inquiries into the causes of the incident.
Morits Skaugen, IM Skaugen Chief Executive Officer, said: "I wish to personally place on record my regret and sorrow over this sad and unfortunate incident.
"I also wish to offer my condolences to the families who have lost loved ones today and stress again that as a responsible ship owner for almost 100 years, it will be our company's absolute duty to discover the truth about how this happened.
"We shall be unstinting in our efforts to discover the facts of the incident and we are giving full co-operation to the investigations into the incident which continue".
Norgas Carriers will issue another statement once there are developments.
An LPG tanker and a passenger ferry collided to the west of Indonesia’s main island. The ferry sunk shortly following the collision, in the early hours of Wednesday morning, leaving at least 8 people dead.
The collision occurred about 4 miles from Bakaheuni port in Lampung province. A Bakauheni port official – located on southern Sumatra Island – stated that over 210 passengers were rescued from the accident area. At least 80 of those survivors are currently being treated at a nearby hospital for injuries; one person is confirmed to be in critical condition as of now.
Although it is unknown how many people may still be in the water, authorities are continuing their search. Two helicopters and two warships were joined by a naval dive squad and several other search and rescue vessels in the search for survivors. The cause of the ship collision is still under investigation.
The LPG carrier has not confirmed any damage due to the incident as of yet. A team of experts have been checking for gas leaks from the ship, however, with no signs reported currently.
According to the Associated Press, ten nearby merchant ships quickly responded to the captain’s distress signal, sailing in from the Sunda Straits to help rescue passengers and crew. Just 20 minutes after the distress signal was given, the ferry sank.
Eight bodies have been pulled from the surrounding waters, including that of a 10-year-old girl. They are believed to have drowned because they could not swim and jumped into the sea without life jackets, says boston.com.
The official manifest showed the ferry was carrying 213 passengers and crew, as well as 78 vehicles. It has the capability to transport 300 passengers and 70 vehicles. Unfortunately, manifests are often unreliable in Indonesia because tickets are sold onboard to passengers who are never registered. The Bahuga Jaya ferry links Java and southern Sumatra. It went down about 40 minutes into the 90-minute journey, after departing from Java’s Merak port.