Indonesian freighter stranded in Myanmar sea territory

Shun Le Win & Min Thein Naing
The stranded freighter (Photo-Kyaw Zin Hein’s Facebook)


A freighter from Indonesia was found stranded in the sea near the south of Thongwa Township with her crew missing, sources said.

Fishermen saw the ill-fated freighter about six nautical miles away from Thamaseitta village in the township on August 28 and found that all of its crews have gone missing, said Aung Kyaw Htoo, Chief Navigation Officer of Myanma Port Authority (MPA).

“We have been notified about the stranded freighter by the navy. We keep a pilot vessel in the mouth of Yangon River and we can rescue the sailors if they are in danger,” he said.

The Indonesian-flagged freighter is 177.35 meters in length, 27.91 meters in width and weighted 26,510 tons. Her name is SAM RATULANGI PB 1600 and built in 2001.

The Navy went to inspect the ship on August 30 and they found that the ship was split in half.

No sign of crew and cargo were found. They only found two fishing boats nearby with five fishermen from Kyaikto Township, Mon State, according to southern district police force.

The fishermen said the ship has been stranded there since they found it on August 28 and three of them had went aboard the ship to investigate.

Department of Marine Administration said no one had informed them officially about the ship till now. It said the ship may have been towed by another ship and became stranded as it became disconnected from the tow ship. Or it may have been intentionally deserted as it is no longer operational and/or cannot be towed any longer.

The department said it will inform respective maritime authorities and the ship’s owners if they confirmed about the ship name and documentations in details. They will issue a warning near the ship and will test whether the water near the ship is polluted or or dangerous in anyway. If they cannot make contact with the ship’s owner, they will salvage it as soon as possible.

Unconfirmed sources claimed that the  SAM RATULANGI PB 1600 went missing in the South China Sea in 2009.