Ship missing off Indonesian coast

Indonesian ship carrying crude palm oil disappears without trace.

Fourteen days after the Indonesian flagged MT Namse Bangdzhod went missing, the search for the Indonesian flagged vessel off the Java coast continues.

As yet there is no clue to the fate of the vessel, its captain or its 11 crew.

MT Namse Bangdzhod  has been missing since 28 December en route from Sampit in Central Kalimantan to Tanjung Priok, Jakarta.

It was only reported missing on Monday.

The vessel, operated by PT Surabaya Shipping Lines, was carrying a cargo of crude palm oil when it disappeared without trace.

Indonesian authorities have sent patrol boats in search of cargo ship and a call has gone out to commercial vessels in the area to join the search.

A spokesperson for Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency M. Yusuf Latif told the local press the search was still active on Wednesday.

Latif described the case as a mystery, saying the fate of the vessel could not yet be determined.

If the ship had sunk there would normally have been an oil spill in the water and along the coastline.  However whether the ship was hijacked for its cargo or sank,  the search continues, he assured media.

“Speculation (of a hijacking) was actually aired by some parties when the vessel lost contact,” Siswanto Rusdi, Founder, Director The National Maritime Institute, an independent Jakarta think tank told Safety at Sea. “But, security agencies didn’t buy it.”

For now Indonesian authorities are focussing on the search and dismissing speculation about what may have happened until they have evidence of the plight of the ship and its 11 crew.

“The last contact with the MT Name Bangdzhod was one day after it left Sampit in Kalimantan on 27 December. It was due in Jakarta on 31 December.

Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency has been contacted for comment.