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Ferry sinks off Papua New Guinea with 350 on board

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posted on Feb, 2 2012 @ 12:14 AM
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First post sorry if it lacks, this is breaking news...

www.guardian.co.uk...

Rescue crews have saved 50 people from the water off Papua New Guinea's north-east coast after a ferry sank Thursday with as many as 350 people on board, officials said.

An aeroplane from Australia, three helicopters and six ships were scouring the search area after the MV Rabaul Queen went down while travelling from Kimbe on the island of New Britain to the coastal town of Lae on the main island, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said in a statement.

Rescue co-ordinator Captain Nurur Rahman said four merchant ships were diverted to the scene by Australian authorities to help with the rescue. "I cannot confirm or deny the 350 missing number, it is hearsay. I have not seen the manifest as yet, but it is likely around 300."

The Australian maritime agency initially detected the ferry's distress beacon and alerted the PNG Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre, which is in charge of the rescue effort. An Australian statement said "approximately 50 people have been rescued so far".

The Australian prime minister, Julia Gillard, said there were 350 people on board and that Australia was providing assistance to its near neighbour. "This is obviously a major tragedy," she said.

"Given the likely very high loss of life here, I think when this news comes to the attention of Australians around the country they will be thinking about the people of PNG as they respond to this tragedy."

Rahman said he was being fed information from an NMSA agent on board one of the rescue ships. "The dynamics of this thing are changing all the time, minute by minute," he said.

Earlier, an unnamed NMSA official said two helicopters from Lae had joined the operation. The NMSA rescue co-ordinator Fred Siroi said he would make a public statement later.

Ship operator Star Ships could not be immediately contacted for comment.




posted on Feb, 2 2012 @ 12:22 AM
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just wondered if someone can change this as i've posted under wrong category



posted on Feb, 2 2012 @ 12:35 AM
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Holy crap


I'll be keeping those 300+ in my thoughts and prayers. at least it seems from the source that the Captain stayed with the ship. Rather there was no mention that he had abandoned it.



posted on Feb, 2 2012 @ 12:53 AM
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having two ships sink within a couple of weeks from each other, is as likely as two towers falling within seconds of each other. Unless they crashed into each other. Somethin fishy goin on here?



posted on Feb, 2 2012 @ 01:52 AM
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Wow...that is very sad news indeed. If it happened off an American coast it would be talked for months. Lets just see how long they talk about this for. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of the families and friends to those onboard the ship.



posted on Feb, 2 2012 @ 02:05 AM
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Originally posted by Mnemicrsl
having two ships sink within a couple of weeks from each other, is as likely as two towers falling within seconds of each other. Unless they crashed into each other. Somethin fishy goin on here?


Not really. Go figure: www.google.com/search?q=ship+accidents+per+year
Second hit is what you want
edit on 2-2-2012 by verschickter because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 2 2012 @ 10:20 AM
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(update)

winnipeg.ctv.ca...

Rescuers plucked more than 230 survivors from the sea off Papua New Guinea's east coast after a ferry sank Thursday with as many as 350 people on board, officials said.

An airplane from Australia, three helicopters and eight ships scoured the area after the MV Rabaul Queen went down while travelling from Kimbe on the island of New Britain to the coastal city of Lae on the main island, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said.

The ferry sank 50 miles (80 kilometres) east of Lae, the South Pacific country's second-largest city, and 10 miles (16 kilometres) from shore, it said in a statement.

Australian Broadcasting Corp. quoted police in Kimbe as saying that most of the passengers were students and trainee teachers.

An official at the scene said the ferry capsized in rough seas and sank four hours later, Papua New Guinea's Post-Courier newspaper reported.

National Weather Service chief Sam Maiha said shipping agencies had been warned to keep ships moored this week because of strong winds, the newspaper said.

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill said the cause of the accident was unknown, but acknowledged that safety in the shipping industry was lax.

"We need to bring some safety measures back into this industry," O'Neill told reporters.

He said more than 300 people were aboard the ship, although the precise number had not been confirmed.

An Australian search and rescue airplane based in the northern city of Cairns reached the scene by afternoon and two other Australian airplanes were on their way.

Australian Maritime Safety Authority spokeswoman Carly Lusk said the crew of the first plane threw several life rafts to survivors in the water. She said 238 survivors had been recovered by late in the day.

She said 350 people were believed to be on board the ferry, but Papua New Guinea's National Maritime Safety Authority said the figure was likely lower.

"I cannot confirm or deny the 350 missing number. It is hearsay," said Captain Nurur Rahman, the authority's rescue co-ordinator. "I have not seen the manifest as yet, but it is likely around 300."

Rahman said the search would likely be suspended until dawn Friday due to rough weather.

He said there had been no reports of bodies being found and that he remained hopeful of finding more survivors in the tropical waters.

"I'm always hopeful," he said. "People have survived up to two days in these waters."

Most of the survivors were uninjured, although one had a dislocated shoulder, he said.

Ship operator Star Ships could not immediately be contacted for comment.



posted on Feb, 2 2012 @ 10:21 AM
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There is an existing thread on this topic:
www.abovetopsecret.com...



Please add further comments, queries or concerns to the ongoing discussion.



Thank you



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