Ship captain rescued after 18 hours at sea

Containership Harbour Neptune at Port Klang, Malaysia. Credit: IHS Markit AISLive

A ship captain was rescued by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) 13 nautical miles off Palau Pajang, Central Java Indonesia, after being at sea for an estimated 18 hours.

It is believed captain Gunawan, of the 1,133 teu containership, Harbour Neptune, fell overboard in the evening of the 18 April, but the crew did not notice him missing until the following morning when the ship was about to berth at Pintu Gedung, in Port Klang, Malaysia.

“A search and rescue operation was launched after receiving a complaint from the ship’s agent that the captain had gone missing while the ship was on its way from Pasir Gudang Port to Port Klang,” said Haris Fadzillah director of the MMEA, in a statement to the press.

“Marine coastal guards who were involved in the victim’s search and rescue operation received information that the victim had been found floating by a merchant ship passing through the area and rushed to the location,” explained Fadzillah.

Captain Gunawan was not injured in the fall and was subsequently screened for COVID-19, whose test result was negative. He will still have to undergo quarantine measures as a precaution.

Fadzillah said that the ship’s crew had not been allowed to disembark from the vessel since 18 March, due to Malaysia’s restrictions put in place in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, known as the movement control order.