Yesterday, Worldwide Dive and Sail (WWDS) announced that the Fiji Siren had been lost at sea during its current charter. As the organization has begun investigations into the incident, a statement was released today with more details about the circumstance. Again, Wetpixel is relieved to report that all crew and passengers are safe and unharmed.
Here is the statement posted on the Worldwide Dive and Sail (WWDS) Facebook page:
“Following on from the sad news yesterday of the loss of the Fiji Siren, we wanted to give a little more information that has come our way at this early stage that we know for sure.
Firstly, almost all guests have departed for home and the crew is now back among friends and family, though there is still more work to do on the ground. Regarding the incident, it seems that around 1am in the morning there was an impact on the vessel that caused a breach in the area of the engine room while cruising. Crew members immediately dived under the vessel and applied pre-mix epoxy in an attempt to try to stem the flow and all water pumps were activated (two main pumps and two portable pumps with a combined capacity of close to 4,000 litres or 4 tonnes per minute) to remove water from the vessel. At this point Fiji Siren headed towards land and placed emergency calls on channels 16 & 72 which to our understanding were, unfortunately, not answered.
By 2am it was clear that not enough water was being cleared by the pumps and so it was decided to call guests to muster in life jackets with only their passports and any medication that they might require. They were then evacuated to land with the diving skiffs along with non-essential crew where shelter was provided. Some of the remaining crew then went to work removing as much of the guest’s property as possible, as well as their own items, boat and crew documentation, and tender fuel. Other crew members were, of course, still trying to save the boat.
By 5.30am the main water pump had failed due to loss of power caused by the water in the engine room, however, the fire pumps were still running at full power with additional fuel being brought for them by Namena Divers, so great thanks to those guys for helping in the operation. There were multiple dives carried out to try and stem the breach further, which were sadly unsuccessful, and by 7:15 it was decided to remove all crew except the captain and cruise director.
Shortly after, it became inevitable that the Fiji Siren was lost and so the evacuation was completed and she sank below the surface at some time around 10am.
There is much sadness both in Fiji and at Worldwide Dive and Sail head office in Phuket, but there is still work to do. We are now focusing on the mammoth task of re-organising our future guest’s holidays and making sure that operations across our fleets around the globe continue smoothly. As stated yesterday, if you are due to travel aboard the Fiji Siren then our team will be contacting you shortly, if they have not done so already. We would be very grateful for your patience as we are prioritising immediate upcoming trips. However, if you have urgent questions about your booking then please email.