Tokyo, 3 February 2012—Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL; President: Koichi Muto) today announced that the MOL-operated containership MOL Summer rescued 116 survivors from the ferry Rabaul Queen, which sank about 17 km east of Papua New Guinea. According to local reports, the Rabaul Queen with about 350 passengers aboard was under way from the port of Kimbe on New Britain Island to Lae in Papua New Guinea. On the morning of Thursday, February 2, the Rabaul Queen sank near Fischhafen, shortly after transmitting a distress signal, according to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).
The MOL Summer, under way from Hong Kong to Brisbane, was dispatched by AMSA to serve as on-scene coordinator for the rescue operation, and pulled 116 survivors from the water, transferring them to AMSA at Lae early on Friday (JST). Meanwhile, eight other merchant vessels near the scene helped with rescue activities at the request of AMSA. In all, five vessels, including the MOL Summer, rescued a total of 246 people. MOL hopes the remaining passengers and crew from the Rabaul Queen will be swiftly rescued and brought to safety.
Profile of MOL Summer:Gross tonnage: 38, 332 dwt/Length: 246.8m/ Seafarers: 27