SEPTEMBER 27, 2012 — Norgas Carriers said today that data from the Voyage Data Recorder ("Black Box") on the bridge of the LPG carrier Norgas Cathinka will be taken from the ship in the presence of Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee representatives. The Harbor Master at the Port of Merak and his technical representatives will also be present at this hand over.
The Norgas Cathinka was in a collision with the RO/RO passenger ferry Bahuga Jaya, September 26. The ferry sank and today rescuers continued to search Indonesian waters today for people reported missing after the disaster.
Officials fear some passengers were trapped in cars on the wrecked vessel, reports the English language Jakarta Post.
The newspaper says at least eight people were killed in the incident, most likely drowning after jumping into the sea without life jackets. More than 210 passengers have been rescued, but an unknown number are feared missing.
The Jakarta Post says that the ferry manifest listed 213 passengers and crew and 78 vehicles on the ferry, but notes that "manifests are often unreliable in Indonesia because tickets are sold onboard to passengers who are never registered."
Today IM Skaugen Group member Norgas Carriers Pte Ltd of Singapore confirmed that the Norgas Cathinka remains anchored safely at Merak Roads, Indonesia and that investigations into the incident are continuing.
The master of the Norgas Cathinka, its chief officer and an ordinary seaman are continuing to assist local police in their investigations into the incident.
Norgas Carriers today appointed a leading firm of international maritime consultants to conduct an independent investigation into the incidentt.
Norgas says it is reported that The National Transportation Safety Committee of Indonesia has now assumed responsibility for the independent inquiry.
Norgas Carriers says that some local reports allege that the Norgas Cathinka did not stop immediately following the incident, but that it "wishes to point out the Master has reported the Norgas Cathinka stopped as soon as it was safe to do so following the incident." It adds that "such an allegation is speculation and does not help in the authorities' efforts to conduct a fair and impartial investigation."
Morits Skaugen, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of IM Skaugen, said today: "Our sole aim here is to ensure that the absolute truth comes out about the events which led up to the accident on September 26.
"It is our firm intention to cooperate in every way we can with the on-going investigations in Indonesia. It is important the investigation is impartial and contains all the facts.
"I believe the outcome of the investigation will uncover the full truth of the incident and that our Master did everything he could under the circumstances after the incident."