Fiji Liveaboard Sinks - 16 Guests Rescued
The Fiji Siren liveaboard sank after striking an unknown object while cruising in open water - 16 passengers were evacuated with just their passports after attempts to patch a hole in the hull near the engine room failed.
The 40m-long liveboard went down in Bligh Waters off Namena Island last Wednesday morning. The passengers and 13 crew were ferried to Namema Island Resort in RIBs - no one was injured.
The boat, run by US-based Worldwide Dive and Sail, is only four years old. Its marketing director Mik Jennings. He said: 'It’s not likely that a salvage will occur. After the boat lost power she drifted into deeper water and was in at least 250m of water when she went below the surface'
He told local newspapers: 'At this point we can’t be 100 per cent sure of what the vessel struck. From our incident report, directly after the impact there was no reef on the navigational plotter and looking over the railings there was nothing obvious below the surface. Further investigations may reveal more in the fullness of time but I wouldn’t like to speculate.'
Ross Hoek, from Michigan, was on board with his wife Cathy. He told local reporters: 'I felt the impact at 1:30 am, woke and told my wife we just hit something, then I went back to sleep.
'The impact was significant enough to wake me and others but not everyone. To me it felt like a single hit, maybe like a log in the prop would feel. An hour or so later our emergency lights came on. My wife and I woke and she asked me to turn them off. I told her they were emergency lights and I couldn’t turn them off, when she asked why they were on I said we probably lost the generator power.
'Very soon thereafter, Simon, the cruise director and operations manager for the Fiji operation, was calm and confident as he woke us and told us we would probably abandon ship.
'He spelt out specific instructions to gather our passports, meds, and don warm clothes before we met at the muster station. A few short minutes later he was back and didn’t cause unnecessary panic but told us to hurry.'
The Fiji Siren was launched in September 2013. She was constructed as a custom-built liveaboard along traditional Indonesian gaft-rigged Phinisi style with seven sails. Her sister yachts are Indo Siren and Palau Siren.