Indonesian Navy seized two ships for anchoring mistake

Handysize bulk carrier CH Bella. Credit: MCLEOD, GARY

South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said that two locally owned ships have been detained in Indonesia for violating territorial waters.

The ministry made the revelation on 15 January 2020 after CH Bella, a 33,000 dwt Handysize bulk carrier owned by Chang Myung Shipping, was detained.

MOFA also disclosed that in October 2019, a 2011-built 5,000 dwt LPG carrier, DL Lily, owned by Daelim Corporation and with nine South Korean and eight Indonesian seafarers, was detained, and remains docked near a naval base between Bintan and Batam islands. It said that it is working with the vessel owners to get the ships released.

DL Lily was detained by the Indonesian Navy on 9 October 2019 during its journey to Singapore. Including its captain, there are nine South Korean and eight Indonesian seafarers.

MOFA said that it came to know of the detention of DL Lily after being notified by the Indonesian authorities in December 2019, but one of the ship’s crew members alleged that he had informed MOFA and the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, who reportedly told him to get Daelim Corporation to settle the issue.

MOFA said, “The crew members are on standby inside the ship, which is not being arrested. Food has been provided to them. We tried to visit them but that didn’t happen because of high waves caused by worsening weather.”

A representative of Daelim Corporation, a South Korean chaebol that is also active in petrochemical production, construction, and IT services, told SAS that DL Lily had been time chartered to an energy major at the time it was detained.

“Our understanding is that DL Lily was on its way to making an off-port-limit call near Singapore but had crossed into Indonesian waters by mistake. We’re working with the relevant parties to free the ship,” said the representative.

CH Bella, whose crew comprises 4 South Koreans and 19 Indonesians, was also detained for stopping in Indonesian waters without permission.

A manager at Chang Myung Shipping told SAS that the company is working with the South Korean government to free CH Bella, which somehow erroneously ended up in Indonesian waters after bunkering in Singapore. Prior to that, CH Bella, which is now anchored in Kabil, Indonesia, had discharged cargoes in Bangladesh.