One Dead, Seven Missing After Bulker Sinks in Bali Sea

Lookouts aboard the Arjuna 229 keep an eye for survivors from Liberty 1 (Basarnas)

Published Oct 28, 2021 9:11 PM by The Maritime Executive

Indonesian SAR agencies are searching for survivors from a frieghter that went down north of Bali on Saturday. 

One day after leaving the Port of Tanjung Perak, Surabaya, the freighter Liberty 1 was hit by a sudden storm in the Bali Sea, due south of the Kangean Islands. The captain attempted to reverse course, but the ship took on a list and began going down. The 15-member crew launched two life rafts and abandoned ship into the sea. 

On Monday afternoon, the LCT Dipasena Dua encountered one of the two liferafts and rescued six survivors, identified as Capt. Jacobus Wolonterry and crewmembers David Makatita, Arif Budi Ruhul, Muhamad Jufri, Hanli Kiuk and Muhammad Ali. The LCT conducted a sweep of the surrounding area but did not find any additional signs of life.

On Wednesday afternoon, the product tanker Seroja 01 encountered two more crewmembers in the water - one alive, one deceased. The survivor was identified as Rivaldy Refly and the victim as Hadiq Zain. Both were transfered to a RIB and delivered to a hospital in West Nusa Tenggara. 

The patrol ships Arjuna 229 and KRI Singa 651 also deployed to search for survivors; the Singa located an extensive oil slick and a debris field about 25 nm to the south of the location of the sinking. The Arjuna 229 found several lifejackets in the area, but no additional crewmembers.

Seven people remain missing, including the chief officer. Based on drift models, rescue agency Basarnas believes that the remaining crewmembers would be carried by wind and current towards the west. The agency is planning to use RIB launches to expand its search area.