Indonesian boxship sinks, at least two missing

A small Indonesia-flagged container vessel sank in the Java Sea off Indonesia on Wednesday, leaving at least two people missing, local reports said.

The 1997-built, 742-TEU general cargo ship was swallowed by the sea while on the Makassar Strait in the Java Sea on the morning of Wednesday, according to reports.

At last count, at least two crew members were missing. A local naval commander was quoted as saying that the exact number cannot be confirmed yet.

Initial findings pointed to a water leakage in the vessel’s engine room, leading to water ingress and the sinking.

The container vessel, Meratus Banjar 2, was travelling from Surabaya to Makassar when the accident happened. A sistership Meratus Spirit I was heading to the scene, along with a couple of rescue boats, according to reports.

Meratus Lines, which operates the boxships, earlier saw one of its vessels slapped with a three-month ban ended 6 April this year by the Australian authorities from entering the country’s ports over non-compliance with the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC).

It was the third ship operated by Meratus Lines to be barred from Australia ports under the country’s revised Navigation Act. 

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