The Indonesian-flagged ship was reportedly carrying nickel ore to Southeast Sulawesi province, when it sent a distress signal while off northern Buru Island of Maluku province, indicating that something endangered the ship, on 20 August. Since then, all communications were lost.
Search and rescue authorities rushed into the last position of the ship, but inclement weather impeded the operations.
Although there are no specific indications was to what happened, fears have been expressed for cargo liquefaction. Nickel ore is considered a dangerous cargo due to its propensity to liquefy.
In this regard, Intercargo, the International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners, urged all shipowners, operators and seafarers to exercise extreme caution when accepting for carriage nickel ore and other cargoes that have the potential to liquefy.
The association has been continuously ringing the bells for cargo liquefaction as a major threat to the life of seafarers.