Thursday, February 2, 2012

more rescued from Rabaul Queen off Papau New Guinea


This morning I had posted about the tragic accident at Papua New Guinea.  The vessel involved was the  1983-built, 259 gross ton, Papua New Guinea-flagged passenger/ ro-ro ferry MV Rabaul Queen  which reportedly sank in bad weather off Papua New Guinea with as many as 350 people on board. The operators, Star Ships, said it lost contact at about 6 AM (local time) today – 2nd Feb 2012,  while sailing between Kimbe and Lae in the eastern part of the Pacific nation after a distress signal was sent by the ship.  The vessel was reported sunk some 9 nautical miles (16 kms) off Finschhafen, on her way from Kimbe to Lae.

Photo courtesy :  http://www.shipwrecklog.com/

Quoting Captain Nurur Rahman, from PNG's National Maritime Safety Authority (NMSA),  there are reports that most people had been rescued from the water.  Reports suggest that more  than 200 people have been rescued from the sea;  efforts were continuing to pick up as many as possible before sunset.  Australian PM Julia Gillard earlier said the incident was a "major tragedy". Ms Gillard said the authorities were urgently trying to find out if any Australians were on board.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority, which is assisting the PNG authorities, has confirmed that the vessel sank approximately 16km (9.9 miles) off Finschhafen. Eight ships and three helicopters are at the scene helping with the rescue. Three Australian fixed-wing aircraft have also been sent, says the BBC's Duncan Kennedy in Sydney. There are news reports of  people floating in life jackets where the boat sank.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority is a largely self-funded government agency with the charter of enhancing efficiency in the delivery of safety and other services to the Australian maritime industry.  One hopes that more survive and that the rescuers are able to restrict the loss of life to its minimum

With regards – S. Sampathkumar. 

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