Oceanic liveaboard catches fire in Indonesia

Blaze aboard the Oceanic in Raja Ampat
Blaze aboard the Oceanic in Raja Ampat

The Oceanic liveaboard has suffered a catastrophic fire while operating in Raja Ampat, Indonesia. The blaze, which occurred at around mid-day on 1 March, was reported to have started in the engine-room, and required a rapid evacuation of guests and crew.

“Fire spread quickly but both passengers and crew were rapidly evacuated with the tenders to the village of Airborek,” reported the liveaboard operator Dive Indonesia. “Everybody is safe and sound.” 

A speedboat was sent to collect the guests and crew and transfer them to the regional capital Sorong, some 90km away from the island.

The Oceanic liveaboard as it appeared until recently
The Oceanic dive liveaboard as it appeared until recently

In Sorong the guests were accommodated in a hotel and helped to prepare documentation for their return flights, according to the operator, which confirmed today (5 March) that they were all now back in their home countries.

Dive Indonesia has run the Ondina liveaboard since 2001, and added the timber-built Oceanic to its strength in 2017. The vessel was only five years old at the time but was fitted with additional upper and lower deck suites to accommodate up to 12 divers, along with the captain, crew of eight and two divemasters.

The burnt-out Oceanic
The burnt-out vessel

“We are all grieving the loss of our beloved Oceanic, a true dream-maker that made so many people happy during the seven years she was with us,” said Dive Indonesia. “She will always be in our hearts.”

Meanwhile, details are continuing to emerge about the recent fire on the Red Sea liveaboard Sea Legend operating out of Hurghada, which has left a German female diver missing and a number of guests expressing their concerns about the evacuation process. Divernet hopes to publish a report on that incident soon.

Also on Divernet: Survivors speak after fatal Red Sea boat fire

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