Archive for 12/18/2011

Mustaqim Adamrah –

At least 182 people went missing after a wooden ship sank in Prigi waters in Trenggalek regency, East Java, on Saturday at 3 p.m.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said on Sunday that a team had rescued 33 people, three of whom were being treated at a nearby hospital and public healthcare center (puskesmas).

“We are temporarily sheltering the survivors in the fishing port building at Prigi Port,” he said.

He said the search and rescue team was still looking for other victims, together with the Indonesian Military, the National Police and the Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency, but hurdles were being faced because the boat sank 40.2 kilometers from shore.

A member of the rescue team, Brian Gautama, said the team had been searching for victims, dead or alive, since Saturday afternoon.

“Visibility is quite low because of the extreme weather,” he told Antara.

Lt. Alwi Mudzakir, a maritime police officer heading the rescue operation, said he feared that a large number of victims would not be rescued due to the weather and 4-meter-high waves, the Associated Press reported.

Police blamed Saturday’s accident on overloading, saying that the vessel appeared to have been carrying more than twice its capacity.

Mudzakir said some of those who were rescued told authorities that they had intended to seek asylum in Australia.

Full story…

Maritime Journal –

The British Royal Navy vessel RFA Fort Victoria intravened to stop a Spanish fishing vessel operating coming under attack from a group of pirate vessels recently.

The NATO warship was patrolling in an area approximately 420 nautical miles from the Seychelles and 350 nautical miles from the Somali coast last week, as part of NATO’s counter piracy task force 508, when it received information on the attack.

The ship’s Lynx helicopter was quickly despatched to investigate. Once at the scene, the helicopter identified two suspect vessels, a whaler and a skiff, in the vicinity of the fishing vessel.

The faster of the two, a skiff, sped away at over 25 knots as the helicopter gave chase. When the skiff ignored orders to stop, the Lynx helicopter fired warning shots ahead of the fleeing vessel.

It stopped, and the suspected pirates onboard were then transferred to Fort Victoria via boat. Fort Victoria’s Royal Marines boarding team then boarded the whaler and another skiff in the vicinity.

As a result of the day’s action, a total of seven suspected pirates were detained onboard Fort Victoria along with their whaler as evidence, with no injuries being sustained by either side.

Captain Gerry Northwood of the Royal Navy, embarked in Fort Victoria said, “It has been a long but rewarding operation with many complex aspects.

Operating under NATO tasking and in consultation with our headquarters in the Middle East and in the UK, we utilised a range of national and international assets to bring these events to a satisfactory conclusion.

Full story…