A major search and rescue operation is underway off eastern Indonesia to find the 189m bulk carrier Nur Allya, which went missing on Tuesday 20th August with 25 crew onboard.
Poor weather conditions have been hampering the search teams, and the Indonesia's coast guard has called on all ships in the area to contact it with any information they might have about Nur Allya.
“The search results are still zero,” said a search and rescue spokesman.
“Signal checking, monitoring and scanning for the 406,037 Mhz frequency of Nur Allya's beacons have also given us have no further information.”
The International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners (INTERCARGO) says it is monitoring the situation closely.
“According to our sources, the ship was carrying nickel ore and was on voyage in Indonesian waters,” says an INTERCARGO press statement.
“Our appreciation and encouragement goes to the Search And Rescue efforts being undertaken by Indonesia.
“Although the cause of the potential casualty is not known, we urge all ship owners, operators and seafarers to exercise extreme caution when accepting, for carriage, nickel ore and other cargoes that have the potential to liquefy.
“We would like to stress the importance of adhering to the provisions in the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code (IMSBC Code) to ensure the safety of lives at sea and the safe transportation of dry bulk cargoes.
“Moisture related cargo shifting and incidents on voyage – widely known as liquefaction – continue to be a major concern for dry bulk shipping, as our association has highlighted in earlier notes this year.
“It is frustrating to see a lack of effort and commitment from all stakeholders including shippers, receivers and port state authorities at load and discharge ports to eliminate the problem and safeguard the lives of seafarers, despite a heightened awareness of the problem by the industry through various publications produced by the P&I Clubs and industry associations.”
In its Bulk Carrier Casualty Report 2018, INTERCARGO highlighted that between 2009 to 2018, 188 lives were lost in bulk carrier casualties and 48 bulk carriers over 10,000dwt were identified as total losses.
Nine casualties with loss of 101 seafarers’ lives between 2009 and 2018 were believed to be from cargo related failures – the highest cause of loss of life.
The incidents involved six bulk carriers carrying nickel ore from Indonesia – two with laterite (clay) iron ore from India and one with bauxite from Malaysia.