Bad weather and high tides stranded a ship, the KM Mutiara Sentosa I, for 18 hours out at sea after it ran out of fuel in waters off Madura Island in East Java, on Friday (03/02).
The ship, en route from Balikpapan to Surabaya, had been stranded since 1.00 a.m. on Friday before rescue officers arrived and rescued the passengers.
“All the passengers and crew of KM Mutiara Sentosa I have been confirmed to be safe,” director general of sea transportation at the Transportation Ministry Tonny Budiono said on Friday.
Tonny said another ship, the MT Arfa Ocean, had departed from the Tanjung Perak Port in Surabaya carrying 40 tonnes of fuel, accompanied by an Indonesian Sea and Coast Guard (KPLP) patrol ship to assist with evacuation.
“The KPLP patrol ship and MT Arfa Ocean carried food for the passengers in KM Mutiara Sentosa. They had run out of food after being stranded for 18 hours at sea,” Tonny said.
The Tanjung Perak Port Authority has prepared medical assistance, including ambulances, at the port. According to reports from Mutiara Sentosa’s captain, a number of the passengers had fallen ill after they ran out of food and drinks.
“Eight adult passengers and two children were reported to be ill,” Tonny said.
“Two tugboats, TB Kresna and TB Restu, are also heading to the location to carry more supplies. The plan is for them to tug Mutiara Sentosa into the Tanjung Perak Port. They’re expected to get to the port on Saturday at around 1.00 p.m.,” Tonny added.
The director general has criticized the ship’s operator and captain for not reporting the incident to local port authorities first hand.
“This is a serious incident. We will find out how it happened. The captain and operator will be sanctioned if they broke the rules,” Tonny said.
KM Mutiara Santosa I, owned by Atosim Lampung Pelayaran, was carrying 180 passengers heading to Surabaya before it ran out of fuel in the waters off Madura.