Indonesian authorities have rescued 18 seafarers after their general cargo ship sank on Saturday.
Antara News Agency quoted police as saying the 1,400 dwt Permata Asia (built in 1992) had developed a leak in her engine room north of Sangiang Island in West Nusa Tenggara.
The ship had a cargo of cement on board.
Local police chief Henry Novika Chandra issued a statement Sunday saying the source of the water inrush had been repaired “several times”.
“But because there was nothing more to be done, the ship’s captain asked for help by sending an SOS signal,” he added.
A quick response came from the Navy and police forces and all crew members were safely evacuated to Sape Harbour.
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Chandra added, “It is true that the ship sank and the entire crew was safe.”
The ship crossed the Floressee at this time.
The captain changed course into the Sangiang Sea, but the engine stalled.
Chandra explained that the sailors tried to pump out the water manually.
“However, the officials could not overcome the water drain that had escaped in the engine room. The ship’s engine shut itself off and the ship began to sink,” he added.
The ship is listed as operated by Sinar Era Asia of Indonesia.
Permata Asia has only one port state control inspection on its record from 2007.
The cargo ship was not detained at this time.