18 Missing after Port Authority Vessel Capsizes off Rakhine Coast

By Min Aung Khine 11 February 2019

SITTWE—At least 18 people are feared dead after a Myanmar Port Authority vessel capsized early Monday morning near Manaung Township in Rakhine State, according to the state Fire Services Department.

The department said it dispatched a 10-member team to conduct a search-and-rescue operation.

The vessel, “Bull Elephant”, was transporting 25 people to Let Pet Taw Island in Manaung Township to repair a lighthouse, Fire Services Department head U Thaw Dar told The Irrawaddy. According to another official from the department, seven people had been found alive but no other details were yet available.

It was not immediately clear if the workers were Myanmar Port Authority employees.

“We still don’t know why it capsized. A search-and-rescue operation is under way,” he said.

According to Rakhine State lawmaker U Bo Nwe, township residents said the vessel capsized after hitting submerged rocks.

“I was at the jetty heading for Sittwe this morning and I heard people say that the vessel capsized after hitting rocks some 4 miles from shore,” the lawmaker told The Irrawaddy.

Manaung Township administrator U Myint Hlaing said the only information he had was that there were 25 persons on board the vessel.