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SY Oriental Siren - Sad News

Discussion in 'Malaysia and Singapore' started by jake11, Jun 7, 2012.

  1. jake11

    jake11 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    [TABLE="class: contentpaneopen"]
    [TD][h=1]Liveaboard Diving Yacht S/Y Oriental Siren[/h]During the morning of 7th June 2012 the S/Y Oriental Siren, owned by Samui BP Holdings and operated under Worldwide Dive and Sail’s Siren Fleet, had to be abandoned by guests and crew.
    The yacht was making her way from Labuan to the remote Spratly Island chain for a 10-night diving safari at Layang Layang, Malaysia. Prior to departure, weather reports from both the Malaysian and Thai meteorological departmentswere checked. Both stated that whilst some swells of 1.5-2.5m were to be expected, the storm was passing and fair weather was predicted. Swells such as these have been very easily managed in the past when the yacht has made trips around Thailand, Burma and the Andaman Islands. However during the crossing, of 150 nautical miles, the yacht met with unexpected and severe conditions, including a series of high waves with no land obstacles for protection.
    At approximately 5am, local time, just 12 nautical miles from reaching Layang Layang, water was seen by the on board engineer in the bilge; the yacht had begun to take on water. Emergency petrol powered pumps were employed and the yacht remained under power and continued to make headway towards the shelter and safety of Layang Layang Island.
    The Cruise Director contacted the operations team who in turn contacted the Malaysian Naval Services stationed on the island. Meanwhile the guests on board were roused and brought to the muster station in preparation for the possibility of evacuation. At approximately 6am, local time, a report was given that the water had risen and disrupted the electrical systems and subsequently the main engine had lost power. The decision was taken by the Cruise Director and Captain to evacuate the guests and crew into the emergency life rafts. All guests & crew had been fully prepared with clothing, life vests and their documentation; however other personal items were left behind in the interest of safety. All the guests reached Layang Layang Island safely after evacuation.
    No one, either guest or crew member, was injured during this incident and we commend all aboard for their management of this situation.

    All guests are currently at the local resort on Layang Layang Island and an air transfer to Labuan or Kota Kinabalu is in process. The crew was able to salvage a few personal items of the guests prior to abandoning the yacht and the operations team is preparing personal kit bags with clothes & toiletries for all.
    The team in Thailand has been busy contacting embassies and notifying the families of those on board. Meanwhile yacht owner, John Bethell, and co-owner of Worldwide Dive and Sail, Mark Shandur, have flown to Malaysia to meet the guests and ensure they are safe and get to their homes quickly.

    If you or your guests were due to travel on the S/Y Oriental Siren, the Worldwide Dive and Sail reservations office will be contacting you shortly with an update. We would like to thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.
  2. scottydawg

    scottydawg Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sacramento
    Sounds like some sad news about this boat. At least everyone is safe.

  3. Allison Finch

    Allison Finch Solo Diver

    # of Dives:
    Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
    Wow, another loss. I was in Raja when the mandarin Siren was lost. It's been a bad year for that company. Having been on the Philippines Siren, I know what a good company it is. So sad. Did the boat go down, for sure?
  4. scottydawg

    scottydawg Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sacramento
    I don't know if the boat went down, only know what I posted above. If someone stayed aboard and got the ship safely to shore then I would think it is OK but if all crew abandoned ship I assume there was no way to run the pumps any longer and she is a gonner.
  5. Wisnu

    Wisnu Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Katameya Heights, New Cairo
    Sorry, but I don't think to be posted in this forum. The boat owner, operator, departure, destination are not in Indonesia.
  6. Worldwide Dive and Sail

    Worldwide Dive and Sail ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    Hi Jake11 - thanks for posting our statement - we have also posted yesterday on the Liveaboards page.

    If anyone wishes to learn more please visit the liveaboards section of the forum or the worldwide dive and sail website

    Thanks and best wishes
    Siren Fleet
  7. Worldwide Dive and Sail

    Worldwide Dive and Sail ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    Dear Scubaboarders.

    Yesterday we posted an official statement - as reported above by Scottydawg - on the liveaboard section of the Scuba board forum and also on the Worldwide Dive and Sail website.

    We would like to thank you for your wishes and concern. At present we do not know 100% the extent of the damage to the Oriental Siren. The crew and guests did abandon the vessel a short distance from Layang Layang. They are all safe and uninjured for which we are extremely grateful and proud of our team's emergency management skills in a very difficult situation.

    The boat's owner and Mark of Worldwide Dive and Sail have now arrived in Labuan but are unable to reach Layang Layang as such we do not have a further report at this time about the status of the yacht. Further updates will be forthcoming, in the meantime our team in Thailand is contact guests who were due to travel on the yacht in the coming weeks.

    If you were booked on a trip on the Oriental Siren please contact your agent or the Worldwide Dive and Sail reservations team for more information.

    Thank you again for your concern,
    Best wishes from the Siren Fleet team
  8. Quero

    Quero Will be missed

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Phuket, Thailand

    ** MOD POST: **

    Thread move to Malaysia forum.
  9. capt539

    capt539 Captain

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Philippines
    Here is a story on this I found on a Malaysian Newspaper web site dated June 11: Tourists return home after high-sea rescue

    [h=1]Tourists return home after high-sea rescue[/h] KOTA KINABALU: The crew and international tourists who were rescued after their luxury yacht sank off Layang Layang island three days ago have returned home.
    “The 14 tourists and 12 crewmen took a commercial flight out of Labuan to KL International Airport on Saturday evening and flew back to their respective countries,” local agent Manoj Bullah said.
    The 26 who were on board the Oriental Siren, which was on a 10-day diving safari, abandoned the yacht and boarded motorised rafts before it sank off the island, some 136 nautical miles off Labuan in bad weather on June 7.
    [​IMG] One for the album: The tourists and crew posing for a picture before boarding the Royal Malaysian Air Force plane.
    They were rescued by the navy’s KD Ganas vessel.
    They spent the night there and were flown to Labuan by the Royal Malaysian Air Force the next day.
    Bullah said there was no casualty among the crew or the group of tourists comprising seven British nationals, four Americans, two Japanese and a Dutch.
    He said their passports were saved as these were put in a survival bag and was kept by the yacht’s captain.
    The crew returned to Thailand.
  10. DARK07

    DARK07 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Sabah, Borneo

    I don't want to speculate on what the protocol is for determining how safe it is/was to head out to sea that particular week and who made the decision to do so, but it had been god awful weather wise in Labuan and the surrounding areas around North Borneo.

    I saw the live aboard in Labuan parked at the old jetty in downtown Labuan and was surprised when I heard they were heading out to Layang Layang.

    But the weather was already bad, but made worse by some freakish weather the past 10 days or so...crazy winds and extremely dangerous conditions to be going out to sea at this period in time. There was hot weather whilst they were docked in Labuan for a couple of days but the day they decided to head out was really just a bad bad time to be going out to sea.

    Anyways, glad everyone is safe, but seriously, what was the captain of the boat thinking going out in such bad weather? It was GOD AWFUL weather to be heading out to sea in the first place! They were very lucky they were as close as they were to Layang Layang or it could have been a very different end to this story.

    It was typhoon/gale like winds over here at the moment and not weather to be taking live aboards out to sea with.

    Last edited: Jun 11, 2012

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