Indonesian authorities have confirmed that a locally-owned cargo vessel that was initially reported missing along with its entire crew has been found drifting in the Arafura Sea off Western New Guinea.
Reports said the general cargo vessel Mutia Ladjoni 7 lost power and went adrift after its fuel lines became fouled with mud while it was en route to the Port of Dobo in the Maluku Islands.
The ship was scheduled to make a bunkering stop at Dobo before proceeding to its final destination at the Port of Bontang on Borneo.
Mutia Ladjoni 7 and its 16-strong crew were initially feared to have gone missing after all radio contact was lost on Friday, November 11. No distress calls were sent at any time prior, prompting the ship’s owner to report that it had disappeared and to request for assistance from the Indonesian Navy and other local agencies in the subsequent search operation.
Personnel from the country’s Basarnas national search and rescue agency found the vessel adrift and blacked out some 20 nautical miles from its last reported position. All 16 crewmembers were then safely evacuated without injury, though the captain and one of the engineers had fallen ill and needed to be brought to hospital.
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