Indonesian authorities have been combing the waters off the country’s Buru Island for three days after a cargo ship crewed by 25 people had suddenly and inexplicably disappeared.
The 190-metre bulk carrier Nur Allya was transporting nickel ore between North Maluku and Southeast Sulawesi provinces when its crew sent out a distress call on Sunday, August 25.
No other radio communications from the ship have been reported since then.
Authorities have not disclosed the nature and content of the distress call, which they say was sent one day after Nur Allya‘s AIS tracker had ceased transmitting the vessel’s position.
An Indonesian government spokesman said that search and rescue (SAR) assets including vessels and aircraft were despatched to Nur Allya‘s last reported position within hours of the distress call being sent. However, worsening weather in the area had forced the temporary cessation of the SAR effort until 07:00 local time on Monday, August 26.
The authorities suspect cargo liquefaction as the main reason for the bulk carrier’s disappearance but added that they will not comment further until the investigation into the incident has been completed.
This is the second reported disappearance of a commercial vessel in Indonesian waters after the incident involving the product tanker Namse Bangdzod.
The tanker was last reported in the Java Sea on December 28, 2018, the date that it was supposed to arrive in Jakarta following a one-day voyage out of the Port of Sampit.
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