Very well done indeed to Captain O Byeong Eun and his crew on the “PRO TRIUMPH” for rescuing four fellow mariners from the sea, with their burning vessel nearby.
Fire on board can be a dire peril, and all the more harrowing in the pitch dark and far from land, but this was the state of the crew of the fishing boat “KARIYA JAYA” at position 02 01.2 N, 105 13.0 E, some 63 miles east of Malaysia and with Pulau Jemaja Island (part of Indonesia’s Riau Archipelago) the nearest land, some 48 nm distant.
At 02:35, having observed a bright light on the water, the “PRO TRIUMPH” watch identified a vessel on fire and the Captain straightaway mustered all hands on deck and stopped engines about 1.5 nm from the stricken craft. Even in ballast and with her tanks inerted it is no small matter for a crude tanker to approach a fire, and the Synergy crew acted with courage, without hesitation and with all regard for precautionary safety.
While seeking to contact the nearest Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre ( MRCC), and keeping a sharp lookout all round, the crew heard whistles, and they informed Singapore MRCC immediately they had sighted a crewman in the water on the starboard bow, seemingly clinging to flotsam. At about 8 cables off, the entire 50 metres of the “KARIYA JAYA” was then clearly visible as fully aflame. The four men in the water each grasped one the life buoys that the crew had thrown over the rail, and were soon after individually taken onto the lowered “PRO TRIUMPH” gangway and swiftly up to the deck. They were given blankets, warm clothing and new coveralls, a medical check and then food and drink, and were later able to call home to let their families know they were safe.
At 04:30 MRCC Singapore was updated, and as then advised the “PRO TRIUMPH” contacted MRCC Jakarta, with the four rescued men resting in a cabin and with a duty AB on standby in case they had any further needs.
As instructed, the “PRO TRIUMPH” then waited at 02 10.0 N 105 13.0 E and later made a rendezvous there with the Indonesian rescue vessel “SAR 101 PURWOREJO”, and when she had safely transferred the men the Synergy-managed vessel resumed passage to Singapore, having saved four lives, for sure.