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Rescue on the high seas

SAFETY concerns for inter-island travel in Vanuatu resurfaced last month after passengers on an inter-island ship in Vanuatu were rescued on the high seas after it developed engine trouble and sank. The LC Urata, a self-propelled landing craft was travelling from South Malekula to Port Vila when it encountered problems 25 nautical miles west of Emae in the early hours of 10 January.

Maritime authorities in Vanuatu said it was fortunate that another ship was in the vicinity when the incident happened. All 60 passengers on board and the 16 crew were safely rescued by the MV Young Blood, which was also on it’s way from South Malekula to Port Vila.

The captain of the MV Young Blood, Thompson Alick Enrel, told Islands Business that passengers were relieved when they showed up beside the sinking ship. The stern was submerged and passengers had boarded life rafts when rescuers arrived. All those rescued were disembarked safely when the MV Young Blood docked into Port Vila later that day. 

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