Passenger ship plying in Batam-Singapore lane sinks

Batam, Riau Islands (ANTARA News) - A passenger ship plying the Batam-Singapore route, which was carrying 97 people, including the crew, sank after hitting a floating object, but all the passengers survived.

"The accident occurred on Sunday night. The ship had sailed from Batam, carrying 97 people in all, including the crew. In the middle of the ocean, the ship hit a floating object," Harbor master of the Nongsapura port in Batam, Syahrim, stated on Monday.

According to him, the accident occurred when the ship was in the waters between Batam and Singapore

"It happened likely due to human error because the weather was good," he said.

Luckily, other ships which happened to be sailing close to the ill-fated passenger ship, immediately approached the vessel and rescued all the passengers.

"Thank God, all the passengers were safe and there were no injuries. Currently, the passengers have been taken by another ship to Singapore," Syahrim said.

With regard to the incident, the port master reminded all skippers to be more cautious, given the fact that the shipping route from Batam to Singapore is very crowded.

In addition to passenger ships, many cargo vessels and large tankers also cross the waters, Syahrim said, adding that the passenger ship which sails from Batam normally reaches Singapore in less than 60 minutes.(*)