Sun Vista sinks off Malaysia

PENANG: The luxury cruise liner Sun Vista, a familiar sight in the waters off Phuket, sank at 1:22 this morning after its engine room caught fire yesterday. The 210-meter ship, which was en route to Singapore with 472 passengers and 632 crew, went down about 60 nautical miles south of Penang. The Gazette understands that everyone on board was rescued by two passenger ferries, two container ships and one other vessel, and ferried to Penang where six were taken to hospital for treatment of minor injuries. Sun Cruises, the vessel’s operator, said a power failure on the ship was reported at about 3:15 pm on Thursday, resulting from a fire at the main switchboard in the engine room. “Though passengers were not in any danger at that time, guests and crew were transferred to lifeboats at about 7:20 pm to ensure their safety,” the company said. Reuters reported that passengers had to board the lifeboats so fast that some arrived in Penang with no shoes, or in bathrobes or swim suits. It quoted one passenger as saying, “The smoke was really belching out of the left side. The color of the smoke kept changing.” Passengers floated in lifeboats for about five hours before being picked up by the other vessels. The Straits Times Internet edition quoted a spokesman of the Maritime Rescue Coordinating Center in Malaysia’s Port Klang as saying, “Everyone managed to get into the lifeboats very fast. It is fortunate it happened in the middle of a busy traffic lane and relatively near shore.” Sun Cruises chartered an aircraft to take passengers to Singapore this afternoon.

Phuket News

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Legacy Phuket Gazette

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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