3 drown as barge sinks near Batam

Three men drowned after a Singapore-registered barge sank near Batam on Friday night.

The Indonesian authorities have since recovered the bodies of Singaporean Terence Chew Zhi Wei, 31, Chinese national Shen Ming Ming, 27, and Myanmar national Ye Myint Myat, 33.

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said there were nine people on board the semi-submersible barge named Posh Mogami when it sank two nautical miles north-east of Sekupang, Batam.

The Indonesian authorities have rescued the remaining six people, including Singaporeans Ng Boon Guan, 54, and Ho Kok Ching, 41. They also saved one Malaysian, one Filipino, one Indonesian and a Dutch national, said the MPA in a release yesterday.

"It was reported that the semi-submersible barge was carrying out submerging trials at the time of the incident," the MPA said.

As Singapore is the flag state of Posh Mogami, the MPA is investigating the cause of the incident with the other authorities.

Built in 2012, the 150m-long vessel is owned by PACC Offshore Services Holdings.

According to the vessel's particulars, it can be submerged to a maximum depth of 9.5m above the main deck.

It can transport port equipment and all types of floating units including ferries, river barges and tugs.

This article was first published on July 21, 2014.
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