Container Ships Hits Fishing Boat in Malacca Strait

A container ship hitting a fishing boat in dense  fog
Updated Published

On Thursday, May 30, Indonesia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the successful rescue of five Indonesian fishermen who were left stranded at sea following a collision with an unidentified container ship in the Malacca Strait. The fishermen, all hailing from Pangkalan Brandan in Langkat, Indonesia, spent more than 10 hours adrift before being saved.

The collision occurred on May 16 at approximately 09:00 local time when a suspected container vessel struck the fishermen's anchored boat. The impact forced the fishermen to jump into the water to save themselves.

After enduring 10 hours in the sea, at around 19:00 local time, four of the fishermen were rescued by the French-registered container vessel CMA CGM Rivoli, which was en route to Dunkirk East, France. The vessel happened to be passing by and spotted the four distressed fishermen clinging to debris from their shattered boat. The fifth fisherman was rescued separately by local fishermen from Langkat.

It is believed that poor weather conditions, including dense fog, contributed to the collision, reducing visibility to less than 5 meters and preventing the fishermen from noticing the approaching vessel. One of the fishermen mentioned that the unidentified container ship did not sound its horn.

On the evening of May 17, the four fishermen were transferred from the Rivoli to a boat operated by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (APMM) in Pekar. One of the fishermen, who sustained a broken arm and other injuries, was immediately taken to a hospital in Malaysia for treatment.

Following this, the Indonesian Consulate General Protection Team from Penang traveled to Perak to assist the fishermen. After recovering, the four fishermen departed from Penang on May 27, heading back to their hometown of Pangkalan Brandan.

Before flying from Kuala Namu Airport to their home, the fishermen visited Wisma Indonesia Penang, a foreign consulate in George Town, Malaysia. During their visit, the Indonesian Consul General in Penang expressed his relief and gratitude for their safe return after the harrowing ordeal.