Posted on August 27, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
The Norwegian-flagged RoRo, AUSTRHEIM capsized and sank during the evening hours of August the 25th while transiting through the Gulf of Guinea.
The incident occurred at approximately 18:00 pm in the evening, off the coast of the Bakassi peninsula, located near the Calabar region of Nigeria.
The vessel had departed Calabar at 4 pm, and was headed for Tiko, Cameroon, when it capsized, as a result of the adverse weather conditions in the area.
Upon receiving news of the sinking, an assortment of Cameroonian forces comprising of the Rapid Intervention Battalion, the BIR and the Cameroonian Navy, immediately launched a Search & Rescue operation to support the distressed vessel.
At the time of the sinking, the ship was carrying some 200 passengers. Local Search & Rescue teams have managed to locate 108 people so far, but at least 3 passengers were found dead. The rest of the passengers on board the ferry are still considered missing.
The rescued passengers were taken to the port of Bota in Limbe; at least 15 had to be placed in intensive care due to the extent of their injuries.
Allegedly, some reports suggest that the ship was overloaded with passengers and cargo at the time of the incident, well beyond capacity.