The curious case of the Namse Bangdzod.

The Namse Bangdzod before she vanished

On 27 December 2018 the Namse Bangdzod, a 1,950-ton oil tanker with 11 crew and a captain onboard, set off towards Tanjung Priok Port in Jakarta from Sampit, Central Kalimantan. Its arrival was expected the following day. However, on 28 December, all contact was lost with the vessel in Ujung Karawang waters.


The last data input tracked by officials was on 3 January 2019.The National Search and Rescue Agency, Basarnas, believed that the tanker may have been hijacked by pirates. The Navy disagreed, saying that the route travelled by the tanker was deemed to be very safe and there had been no ransom demand.


The Navy also claimed that the ship had been recorded changing position several times, moving from Jakarta Bay to Sunda Kelapa Port, but was not found in either place. Maritime expert, Oloan Saut Gurning, said that an accident was highly unlikely as no distress signal had been sent and he didn’t believe the tanker was adrift at sea as the Navy would have found it in that case.

Basarnas was to continue searching the ocean for 4 days whereafter the police and Navy would take over the search. To date, the tanker remains missing

The whereabouts of a 1,950-ton palm oil tanker that went missing off West Java on Dec. 28 2018 remain unknown, with the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) and the Navy speculating on its disappearance.

The Namse Bangdzod, carrying 1 million liters of crude palm oil (CPO), departed from Sampit, Central Kalimantan, on Dec. 27 and was expected to arrive in Jakarta’s Tanjung Priok Port the following day.

The Sampit Port Authority Office says it lost contact with the vessel in the waters of Ujung Karawang, West Java, on Dec. 28, and the vessel never arrived in Tanjung Priok.

According to tracking website marinetraffic.com, the tanker was in Ujung Karawang waters until Jan. 3, 2019 with the last data input occurring at 9:42 a.m. on that date.

Officials are now left questioning whether the ship has sunk or been hijacked.

Basarnas believes the tanker, which is manned by a captain and 11 crew members, has fallen victim to piracy.


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