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Bulker with 25 crew and carrying nickel ore missing off Indonesia

Photo: Pandiman Nickel ore loading port
Nickel ore loading port
An Indonesian bulker carrying nickel ore has gone missing with a crew of 25 on board.

According to reports contact was lost with the 52,000 dwt, 2002-built bulker Nur Allya while it was northern waters of Buru Island, Maluku, Indonesia, on 25 August.

According to Ambon Search and Rescue (SAR) the vessel, owned by PT Gurita Lintas Samudra, was carrying a cargo of nickel ore and crew of 25, and was bound for Southeast Sulawesi.

The vessel is reported to have sent a distress signal and then communication was terminated.

“The ship has already sent a distress signal, therefore we immediately rushed into the last position of the ship to check the real condition of the vessel and rescue it," head of the Ambon search and rescue office Muslimin Samaila told Chinese news agency Xinhua.

The fact the vessel was cargo a cargo of nickel ore raises the spectre of another fatal casualty resulting from liquefaction. Nickel ore cargoes are prone to liquefaction which can cause vessels to capsize and sink in the space of minutes.

According to Intercargo 101 lives were lost between 2009 and 2018 in nine bulk carrier losses caused by liquefaction.