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Oil-gas companies vessels join Air Asia Flight QZ8501 search and rescue efforts

JAKARTA ( – Two tanker vessel and one tug boat used to support offshore oil and gas exploration and production activities are ready to support National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) in the search and rescue of the victims of Air Asia Flight QZ8501.

The vessels will be given task to supply logistics to the warships and vessels, both from domestic and abroad, that are currently searching and rescuing the victims of the Air Asia flight.

Spokesperson of the Indonesian Special Task Force for Upstream Oil and Gas (SKK Migas) Rudianto Rimbono said that a number of oil and gas production sharing contractors (PSCs) ready to support the rescue efforts.

“A tugboat used to support offshore oil platforms are ready to go,” Rudianto Rimbono was quoted by Kompas as saying.

The aircraft, carrying 155 passengers and 7 crews including two pilots disappeared from aviation traffic radar last Sunday (Dec. 28) while flying from Surabaya to Singapore.

Search and rescue are underway after some debris of the aircraft was spotted floating on the sea surface. President Joko Widodo has immediately ordered massive search and rescue for the aircraft. So far, the Indonesian government has deployed a total of 57 vessels, two aircraft and 17 helicopters, Malaysia deployed 5 vessels, 2 aircraft and 2 helicopters, South Korea one aircraft and US one vessel (Sampson 102).

As of Jan. 1, 9 victims have been discovered and evacuated to Surabaya, while 7 more bodies were found early today (Jan. 2). Commandor of Banda Aceh Warship Commodor Widodo was quoted by that the US vessel has found 6 bodies, while Malaysia’s warship Diraja Lekir found 1 body. This means that 16 bodies have been discovered.

SKK Migas made the statement after earlier the Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Sudirman Said instructed SKK Migas to support efforts to search and rescue to the Air Asia Flight QZ8501. The head of SKK Migas Amien Sunaryadi immediately called on PSCs operating nearby the crash site to lend support.

Rimbono said the tugboat last night has loaded fuel in Pabelokan Island in One Thousand Islands and is scheduled to move to the searching site today. SKK Migas, he said, is also coordinating with Pertamina and other PSCs such as ConocoPhillips, Chevron, Energi Mega Persada and Total to support the search and rescue efforts.

Vice President Corporate Communication of Pertamina Ali Mundakir said Pertamina is ready to deploy tanker vessel to supply fuel. (*)

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