AsiaDry CargoOperations

25 feared dead as Indonesian bulker carrying nickel ore disappears

Search and rescue teams are scouring eastern Indonesia after a bulk carrier carrying nickel ore with 25 people onboard sent a distress signal yesterday.

Cargo liquefaction is feared as there has been no AIS signals from the 2002-built Indonesian flagged Nur Allya since Saturday.

The Nur Allya, owned by Jakarta-based Gurita Lintas Samudera, was en route to Southeast Sulawesi province, when it sent the signal while passing northern Buru Island.

Search teams have been facing poor weather conditions which have hampered efforts to locate the vessel.

International dry bulk shipping association Intercargo published its latest annual bulk carrier casualty report in April, which highlighted the ever present threat cargo liquefaction faces to the lives of seafarers around the world.

Intercargo data shows 101 of the 188 lives (53.7%) lost on bulk carriers above 10,000 dwt in size in the decade from 2009 to 2018 were down to cases of cargo liquefaction. The deaths occurred on nine different ships – six of which were carrying nickel ore from Indonesia, two with laterite (clay) iron ore from India and one with bauxite from Malaysia.

“Cargo failure and liquefaction continue to be a major concern for dry bulk shipping,” Intercargo warned.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. Again and again, the mishaps repeats. Good Old basics get liquefied and the stability of the ships and the staff is listing to dangerous zones. When are we going to learn? J K M Nair/ CEO at trgsolutions international/also at

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