MUA Members Rescue Stranded Seafarers in Strife

Seven Indonesian seafarers caught a lucky break after being rescued by Norwegian flagged, Australian-crewed vessel the Far Sirius last Thursday.

The seven Indonesian crew had spent more than 10 hours in the Java Sea after their ship had sunk the night before, according to skilled seafarer and MUA delegate Jimbo Williams.

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On the morning Thursday, September 4 the Far Sirius was on her maiden voyage to Australia from Singapore.

The crew on board the Farstad vessel were alerted by another ship that an upturned vessel had been spotted approximately 50 nautical miles northwest off the Indonesian Island of Madura.

While the Far Sirius made a bee line to the location, the crew readied the Fast Rescue Craft (FRC).

Shortly after they launched the lifeboat after spotting a person floating on a piece of debris some way from the wreck.

Jimbo Williams, fellow skilled seafarer and MUA member Lincoln McDowall, along with engineer Daniel Thomas searched the area to find a single person floating on a foam mat.

"We pulled him onboard asked him how many people were on his boat, he responded by holding up seven fingers," Williams said.

"The rescued crew had very little English which made things difficult.

"We asked him if he knew where his ship mates were which he pointed in the direction he thought they might be.

"Searching the area we finally came across six seafarers floating in the water clinging to life on some more foam mats."

One of the men needed treating for shock and hypothermia immediately aboard the rescue craft. After communicating the men the best they could the Australian crew discerned the men had been in the water since approximately 11.30pm the night before after being swamped by a wave.

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"Upon getting them all onboard the Far Sirius, medical treatment, hydration, dry cloths and a serious feed put on by our caterers, followed by a carton of cigarettes and some Singapore dollars which brought great joy and a smile too their faces," Williams said.

"All MUA crew and crew aboard did not hesitate to comfort and look after these very lucky seafarers for one minute.

The captain of the sunken ship made contact with another vessel, aboard which, were some of the men's friends.

McDowall and Thomas, along with another MUA member Brendon Robb used the FRC to transfer the men to the neighbouring vessel, adding a heap of blankets, food and water to the ship's existing supplies.

"Upon leaving the vessel we were treated to cheers thumbs up and a great deal of relief and happiness from all onboard the vessel.

"It is very humbling and proud experience to say the least! To be part of a great team effort to have saved seven seafarers lives at sea.

"I know that at that moment of seeing the faces of those men in the water will stay for a life time."

Check out all of the pictures from the event here.

FULL MUA CREW involved in the rescue effort:
Lincoln McDowall
James Toutounji
Lucy Williams
Maurice Hodges
Brendon Robb
George Amad
Jimbo Williams

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