Relief boat sinks in waters off Nias

Thursday, April 14, 2005
By nias

Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Cahaya Abadi (Endless Sun), a private relief boat carrying aid to Aceh and Nias from a Bali-based non-governmental organization (NGO) sunk off the coast of Nias on April 11 at 2 p.m.

The 700-ton vessel had just finished offloading a cargo of rice and aid to the village of Afulu on the south coast of Nias, North Sumatra, when it struck an uncharted reef in a heavy swell.

The boat sunk within twenty minutes. Some of the Indonesian crew of 15, plus five volunteers, swam safely to shore and the others were picked up by fishing boats. All are safe.

The Cahaya Abadi had delivered aid from Bali-based Yayasan IDEP and 87 tons of rice donated by the World Food Program to four isolated communities in Nias before the incident occurred.

It had just completed its fourth rice delivery when the accident occurred. The vessel, leased by Yayasan Andaru Selaras (a Jakarta-based NGO), was carrying relief goods from Yayasan IDEP, the World Food Program, Project Concern International and other donors.

"We are grateful for the good news that no one on board was seriously injured," said Yayasan IDEP executive director Petra Schneider. "We are committed to continuing our Aceh aid and recovery projects with the help of our generous donors, volunteers and staff."

The many major earthquakes in the immediate area since December 26 have created an unstable seabed situation, with uncharted, hard-to-navigate coral reefs.

"The crew and volunteers were aware that they were putting themselves in a dangerous and volatile situation," said Chris Gentry, founder of Yayasan Andaru Selaras.

"I want to thank those who have put their lives at risk for the people of Aceh and North Sumatra. Despite the trauma and hardship they have experienced their commitment has not waned. Aid delivery at this difficult time will continue." — JP

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Kalender Berita

April 2005