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03 January 2005 17:17

Asian Tsunami Marine Casualty News

Following Message received from Piet Sinke's Daily Shipping News 03JAN05

Samudera bulker capsize leaves 15 missing off Aceh

FIFTEEN crew of a Samudera Shipping Line cement carrier were missing after it capsized off Aceh, Indonesia, in the disaster that swept the Bay of Bengal.Singapore-listed Samudera said the 6,693 dwt cement carrier "Sinar Andalas" capsized and was stranded by the tsunami that hit the port of Lhok Nga on Sunday.Of the 19 crew, just four were rescued after the ship was hit by killer waves while performing cargo operations in the Indonesian port.
Samudera said it was still in the process of locating 15 other crew members missing in the tragedy and has sent an emergency team to the site. "We are thankful the four are rescued and are deeply concerned about the others," the company said. But chances of their survival would appear slim with the port located in an area that bore the full brunt of the worst earthquake in 40 years.
The port of Lhok Nga is about 17 km west of Banda Aceh, the capital of Aceh province, scene of massive destruction in the tsunami that followed the quake. Reporters at the scene in Banda Aceh described thousands of dead bodies lying the streets of the stricken capital. Indonesian officials now say the death toll in the country is 80,000 as entire towns and villages on the coast of Aceh were laid waste in matter of minutes.
Rescue workers were still having problems reaching the more remote areas on the coast. It is the worst reported casualty to the shipping industry in the disaster. The shipping industry has escaped largely unscathed as vessels in deep water were largely unaffected by the tsunamis. Those in port, however, bore the full front of killer waves much as those on land did.
The "Sinar Andalas" was part of Samudera’s industrial shipping fleet and its only cement carrier. The net book value of the vessel was $9.73m and it was on charter at a daily rate of $6,550 until March 4 2008, and $6,850 daily until March 4, 2010. The ship contributed 0.69% of Samudera’s revenues and the company said it was covered by hull and machinery and P&I insurance.
Lhok Nga port is owned by cement producer PT Semen Andalas Indonesia. The company sends cement by ship to Belawan, Lhokseumawe and Batam Island for packing. There has been no further news of the other shipping casualty reported in Aceh following the deadly tsunami. At the port of Kreung on the Indian Ocean facing the coast of Aceh, Indonesia, two crew members were reported killed and three are missing from the 1,862-dwt product tanker Tirta Karsa. The Indian government took hasty remedial measures to prevent panic from developing yesterday after a meteorological office in the southern state of Tamil Nadu issued a warning that another tsunami of even greater magnitude than last Sunday’s killer wave was on the way.
News of these happenings reached the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo, and a news agency issued a report that public announcements had been made, warning people not to go within 2 km of the sea, and to stay on high ground. Sri Lanka Ports Authority officials, requesting anonymity, rejected the report, saying that they had received confirmation from the Hawaii Tsunami Tracking Centre that the likelihood of another major tidal wave was remote. Loading and unloading operations at the two main container terminals in Colombo port continued without disruption, although it is understood that the Sri Lankan Navy moved some berthed vessels out of the harbour into the open sea as a precautionary measure.
All ships leaving Saudi ports on the Far East trade have dropped Colombo from their schedule in the wake of the tsunamis, according to local reports. Feeder lines serving Indonesia, India and Thailand are also adversely affected.Delays in the arrival of cargo ex-Saudi are predicted by at least one carrier.

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