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Fiji Siren - Lost at Sea

Discussion in 'Liveaboards & Charter Boats' started by tendi, Nov 15, 2017.

  1. Dogbowl

    Dogbowl Contributor

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Somewhere
    2,658
    1,774
    After reading all these posts and undercurrent articles, it appears the problem is with inexperienced captains and staff. If that is where the company is trying to save costs, well, the consequences are pretty evident now. My guess is that prior passengers felt "safe" because there was no emergency on their trip, but when the sh*t hits the fan, the weakest link becomes apparent.

    Couple that with being in a lesser developed part of the world where the Malaysian navy doesn't answer mayday calls??? WHF!!! Dive at your own risk, I guess!
     
  2. scubafanatic

    scubafanatic Contributor

    5,081
    870

    Hopefully that's beyond salvage depth.
     
  3. flyboy08

    flyboy08 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: NYC
    3,882
    2,756
    What, no GPS navigational equipment? Even a hand held Garmin unit can navigate the seas!
     
  4. KathyV

    KathyV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
    5,312
    3,503
    Well, they may not know how to steer, but they sure do know how to spin!

    Here is a pic of the Fiji Siren that is out on the web. I don't know who owns the photo but I found it on this facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/markus.davids.10

    What a terrible waste.

    FijiSirenSinking.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2017
    BDSC likes this.
  5. Russjstewart

    Russjstewart Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Melbourne
    272
    151

    While the Facebook page says boat issued distress calls on VHF channel 16 & 72 given the earlier reported location ( from ChrisM) of the vessel being in the Namena area I would be very surprised if the ship was within range of the Suva Coast radio station. Unless the Aerial is way up on a mountain. So no response is not surprising unless there was another vessel within about 20 miles maintaining a listening watch. Namena divers may have been contacted using a Sat phone, in which case the Suva RCC could have been called, and maybe they were, who knows.

    I find it interesting that there is no mention of HF being used. Does anyone who has been on board know if she carried DSC capable HF radio equipment. I would really hope there were EPIRBS on board.
     
  6. Russjstewart

    Russjstewart Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Melbourne
    272
    151
    It would seem the Fijian Navy consists of 9 patrol boats, so it is possible they are pretty limited to the amount of support they could send and how quickly
     
  7. KathyV

    KathyV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
    5,312
    3,503
    This is in the article below:

    "....Fiji Navy operations officer Lieutenant Commander Timoci Natuva said they received a call from the Namena Dive Shop, that the Fiji Siren struck an outlying reef causing it to take water. He said the only alert they received about the incident was from an Australian Emergency Position Indicator Radio Beacon (EPIRB)..."


    http://fijisun.com.fj/2017/11/18/fiji-siren-not-to-be-salvaged/

    Fiji Siren Not To Be Salvaged

    November 18

    12:492017

    Fiji Siren, a 40metres long and 9.7metres wide professional dive liveaboard is unlikely to be salvaged from the Bligh waters where it sunk early Wednesday morning.

    This was confirmed by Sales and Marketing Manager, Worldwide Dive and Sail, Mik Jennings.

    Worldwide Dive and Sail owns and operates a range of diving, sailing and cruising yachts across Asia and the Pacific including the Fiji-registered Fiji Siren.

    “It’s not likely that a salvage will occur. After the boat lost power she drifted into deeper water and was in at least 250m of water when she went below the surface,” Mr Jennings said.

    Whether the yacht may have struck a sunken reef could not be confirmed by Mr Jennings.

    “At this point we can’t be 100% sure of what the vessel struck. From our incident report, directly after the impact there was no reef on the navigational plotter and looking over the railings there was nothing obvious below the surface. Further investigations may reveal more in the fullness of time but I wouldn’t like to speculate.”

    He said all but one client who was on board the yacht had departed Fiji.

    According to Mr Jennings their focus now is contacting future clients and making sure that they can re-arrange their bookings in order to enjoy their vacations.

    Fiji Navy operations officer Lieutenant Commander Timoci Natuva said they received a call from the Namena Dive Shop, that the Fiji Siren struck an outlying reef causing it to take water.

    He said the only alert they received about the incident was from an Australian Emergency Position Indicator Radio Beacon (EPIRB).

    He said there were 13 local crew members and 16 tourists on board the yacht when it took on water.

    “The crew and tourists were forced to abandon the yacht. They boarded their dinghies and moved across to Namena Island Resort. They arrived safely that same morning,” Lieutenant Commander Natuva said.

    He said by the time they received the information the tourists and crew were already safe on land.

    Namena Island Resort manager Nigel Simpson confirmed that those on board the yacht arrived by dinghies.

    “They are all safe and I took them across to Savusavu.”

    Captain Philip Hill, Manager Safety, Compliance and Response of the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF) said they had removed the oil and there was no pollution in the area.

    Operations manager Dive Fiji, Jonathan Smith said the incident was the first of its kind to happen in Fiji waters.

    But Mr Smith was optimistic that it would not affect tourists who were after this niche market. Two other such liveaboard dive boats are in operation in Fiji waters, Sere Ni Wai and Nai’a.

    Fiji Hotel & Tourism Association President Dixon Seeto said he was glad that everyone on board was safe.

    The Fiji Siren had departed from the Volivoli Beach Resort on Viti Levu at 1pm and should have returned to the same port at around 10am on the last day of its seven days cruise.

    On its Facebook page, Volivoli Beach Resort stated that they are currently conducting a full and thorough investigation.

    “No guest or crew member was injured during this incident and we commend the actions of our team for following our stringent emergency training protocols which resulted in the swift evacuation and handling of the situation.”

    On the Siren Fiji website, a chronology of what transpired was posted:

    Wednesday November 15, 2017

    At around 1am in the morning there was an impact on the vessel that caused a breach in the area of the engine room while cruising. Crew members immediately dived under the vessel and applied pre-mix epoxy in an attempt to try to stem the flow and all water pumps were activated (two main pumps and two portable pumps with a combined capacity of close to 4,000 litres or 4 tonnes per minute) to remove water from the vessel. At this point Fiji Siren headed towards land and placed emergency calls on channels 16 & 72 which to our understanding were, unfortunately, not answered.

    By 2am it was clear that not enough water was being cleared by the pumps and so it was decided to call guests to muster in life jackets with only their passports and any medication that they might require. They were then evacuated to land with the diving skiffs along with non-essential crew where shelter was provided. Some of the remaining crew then went to work removing as much of the guest’s property as possible, as well as their own items, boat and crew documentation, and tender fuel. Other crew members were, of course, still trying to save the boat.

    By 5.30am the main water pump had failed due to loss of power caused by the water in the engine room, however, the fire pumps were still running at full power with additional fuel being brought for them by Namena Divers. There were multiple dives carried out to try and stem the breach further, which were sadly unsuccessful.

    By 7:15am it was decided to remove all crew except the captain and cruise director.

    By 10am the Fiji Siren sank below the surface of Bligh Waters off Namena Island.
     
  8. KathyV

    KathyV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
    5,312
    3,503
    I've lost the link but I saw a comment on facebook that there hasn't been much local coverage of the sinking which seems odd if it is true. And I don't know anything about ship registries, but the screenshot below is popping up on the web and shows that the Fiji Siren sailed under the flag of Mongolia, and that is also a bit surprising - at least to me, I wonder why? The boat was based in Fiji and the company is based in Thailand.

    SirenMongolia.jpg
     
  9. Dogbowl

    Dogbowl Contributor

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Somewhere
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    Legal liability reasons. Being registered in an obscure country makes legal claims against the vessel so much harder.

    That’s why most cruise ships except one that I know of (Norwegian’s Pride of America) are registered not in the US.

    Maybe @Wookie and other captains can add to this.
     
    KathyV likes this.
  10. Wookie

    Wookie Curmudgeon Apprentice ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Supporter

    36,300
    63,399
    There are actually a number of them that are US flagged. Any of the Hawaii vessels as well as the Alaska vessels. I'm not too sure about the new cruise ship routes that leave New York, Philly, etc. and go North to Maine and the maritime provinces.

    The legal liability is not the biggest part. The biggest part is the Jones Act that Sen. McCain keeps on railing about. A US flagged vessel must be built in the US, Crewed by Americans, and inspected by the USCG. Crappy boats are built far less expensively overseas and inspected in countries that have more lax standards and crewed by sailors that may or may not meet our training standards. Although the cruise ship industry does happen to be a shining example of well run vessels and well maintained vessels.
     
    KathyV likes this.

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