Posted on December 03, 2018 by Ilias Kiritsis
Indonesian-flagged passenger RoRo vessel, Gerbang Samudra I, caught on fire, early in the morning of December the 2nd.
The vessel had left Surabaya, Java and was bound for the port of Banarmasin in Kalimantan, at the time of the incident.
At approximately 1:00 am, the crew noticed a fire on the vessel and proceeded to wake up the passengers, most of whom were asleep at the time, before moving them to the back of the ship.
The RoRo sent out a distress call that was picked up by a passing vessel, the KM Kumala, that then rushed to the scene.
The Kumala managed to rescue most of the people on the vessel.
Approximately 145 individuals were successfully taken onboard, but there are still 3 people missing; namely, the ship’s captain and two cadets.
At around 3 am, having finished its rescue operations, the Kumala resumed its original course towards Surabaya.
After arriving at port at approximately 9 am, several passengers and members of the crew were rushed to a local hospital due to suffering a combination of burns, bruises and fractures.
Later in the day, most were released and allowed to go home, leaving only 2 passengers in intensive care.
According to the owner of the vessel, the fire started portside, on the maindeck near the bow of the ship. The cause of the fire is not yet known.
The search for the captain and the two missing cadets is still ongoing.