Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ‘Ghost ship’ appears in waters off Myanmar




‘Ghost ship’ appears in waters off Myanmar

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Sam Rataulangi PB 1600 found in Myanmar’s waters last week. AFp

‘Ghost ship’ appears in waters off Myanmar

A STRANDED vessel empty of crew and goods that was found in Myanmar’s waters last week was being towed by a ship with 13 Indonesian nationals before it became unmoored, the Myanmar Navy said.

Fishermen came across the rusted and empty vessel, bearing the name Sam Rataulangi PB 1600, drifting in the Gulf of Martaban, about 11 kilometres (seven miles) off the coast of Myanmar’s commercial capital.

Myanmar navy personnel boarded the vessel last week to investigate, and shed some light on their search in a post on the navy’s official Facebook page late Friday. “It was the view that the ship could have been towed by another ship after two cables . . . were found at its head”, the post said.

The navy’s coastal radar records showed the movement of two ships on Sunday and Monday in the Yangon and Sittaung rivers – which run into the Gulf of Martaban.

Based on these findings, the navy scoured the waters for a second ship and found the “Independence” vessel, carrying 13 Indonesian crew members, about 80 kilometres from Yangon’s shores.

After questioning the crew members, the navy discovered that the “Independence” departed Jakarta on August 13, towing the old vessel bound for a ship-breaking factory in Bangladesh, the Facebook post said.

“They faced bad weather when they arrived south of Yangon River”, the navy said.

“The cables attached to the ship broke, and the ship was floating along with the tide and it was difficult to continue its journey.”

Old and unseaworthy vessels are often towed to Bangladesh’s southern Chittagong province, which houses a thriving – and controversial – ship-breaking industry.

According to the Marine Traffic website, which lists the movements of ships around the globe, the vessel was built in 2001 and had a deadweight of 26,500 tonnes. The navy said the investigation is ongoing.

An official from the Indonesia Foreign Ministry confirmed on Saturday that they had received word of this case and said the embassy in Yangon was handling it.

“It is the boat that was arrested; the Indonesians are just the boat crew,” Lalu Muhammad Iqbal, director at the ministry’s Indonesian citizens protection department, said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hungarian exposes 90 to Covid in Siem Reap

    The Ministry of Health has discovered 90 people who have been exposed directly or indirectly to a Hungarian man infected with Covid-19. They all are required to quarantine at home and the hospital. The ministry is searching for other affected people. Among the 90, one is the

  • PM warns of ‘new Cold War’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the possibility of a so-called new Cold War has become a significant concern and that all countries have to reject outright, any attempt to allow history to tragically repeat itself. He made the remarks in a speech during 75th Session

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • ‘Bad news is an investor’s best friend’ – unlocking investment potential in Cambodia

    It is time to shop. Economic woes provide good pickings for investors if they know where to look The poem If, written by English Nobel laureate poet and novelist Rudyard Kipling for his son circa 1895, is widely perceived as fatherly advice for John who would

  • Cambodia, CRF win rice battle in EU Court

    The European General Court has rejected the European Commission’s (EC) request to reject a complaint submitted by Cambodia and the Cambodian Rice Federation (CRF) regarding the EU’s reintroduction of tariffs on Indica rice exports from Cambodia. A court order uploaded to the European

  • PM requests Russia’s Covid vaccine

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that Russia provide Cambodia with its Covid-19 vaccine after the former announced it planned on mass vaccinating its population next month. The request came on Thursday through the prime minister’s Facebook page as he met with Anatoly Borovik,