Cargo boat crew rescued after floating for more than 24 hours

Four crew members of an Indonesian cargo boat were rescued by a passing chemical tanker after their craft capsized.

The four men, comprising the boat captain and crew members, were on KM Bahari Indah 5 that was transporting goods from Dumai, Indonesia, to Johor, Malaysia, on 9 December 2019.

KM Bahari Indah 5 had set out with another boat at 0600h Malaysia time on 9 December. About 54 km southwest of Muar, KM Bahari Indah 5 lost contact with the other boat. By then, it was 1500h on 9 December.

The crew on the other boat alerted the Indonesian maritime search-and-rescue (SAR) authorities. Due to the route of the ill-fated boat, the maritime SAR office in Pekanbaru, Indonesia, alerted its counterpart in Johor Baru, Malaysia, to search for the vessel and the crew.

Johor State maritime director, First Admiral Aminuddin Abdul Rashid, said on 11 December that his department was alerted just before 1100h on 10 December. It is not known why there was a difference of many hours between the time KM Bahari Indah 5 lost contact and the time the Johor maritime authorities were informed.

Search vessels were deployed, but at 1800h on 10 December, Sinar Masela, a 2003-built 8,831 dwt chemical/products tanker, found the men 10 km east of Rupat Island, Indonesia, and took them on board.

It turned out that the four men jumped into the sea, all clinging to one lifejacket to stay afloat. By the time Sinar Masela, owned by PT Samudera Indonesia, rescued them, the men had been floating for more than 24 hours.

IHS Markit’s AISLive data shows Sinar Masela arrived at Futong port, Indonesia, on 11 December, having discharged cargoes at PT Asahimas Chemical’s jetty in Anyer Terminal early in December. The vessel is currently en route to Singapore.