Shipping Containers Lost At Sea In Indonesian Waters

Due to heavy winds and high seas, 18 shipping containers were lost at sea off the coast of Indonesia as they were being shipped to Singapore via a tugboat pulling a container barge on May 26. 

The strong winds caused the tugboat to till and lose 18 shipping containers into the ocean. The Indonesian Navy and other government agencies responded ensuring the safety of the 10 crewmembers manning the tow, but they reported that some containers were swept away with others remaining in danger of being washed off the barge.

The tugboat Mega Daya 43 departed from Perawang Indah Kiat Pulp and Paper (IKPP) Port in Riau, east of Singapore bound for Singapore towing the Marcopolo 188 barge. According to the reports from the SAR agency, the vessel began to experience bad weather, strong winds, and strong waves. 

The captain ordered the crew to shorten the towline around midnight while the vessel was approximately 10 miles away from Nipah, Indonesia. However, within 45 minutes the barge was seen to be rocking and rolling to a list of as much as 30 degrees. The captain ordered the crew to again lengthen the towline.

 As they continued to lose control of the barge, the captain radioed for permission to attempt to ground the barge to prevent its loss. He attempted to turn around to reach a more secure location but by 1:45 a.m. he reported that the barge was approaching a 60-degree list when he ordered the crew to release the tow line entirely. The tug remained at the scene awaiting assistance from the Navy and SAR agency.

The barge was loaded with 108 20-foot containers and an additional 87 40-foot containers. They are currently estimating as many as 18 shipping containers were washed overboard and seen floating. 

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