The Ro-Ro passenger ferry Dharma Kencana VIII capsized in Flores Sea at western tip of East Nusa Tenngara Island, Indonesia. The ship left the terminal at Labuan Bajo, but shortly after that capsized to starboard and started sinking. The Master of the ferry Dharma Kencana VIII raised alarm and sent distress signal to the local authorities. At the scene were dispatched rescue boats, which started evacuation of the 200 passengers on board. There are no reports about injuries, but after capsizing a lot of trucks shifted inside the ship and worsened the stability. All the people were transported back to the port and medical examined for injuries.
The salvage operation is under way. The vessel was surrounded by oil booms to prevent any water pollution and oil spill. The ship partially sank resting the bottom with the starboard, but authorities will consider refloating and stabilizing of the ferry. Currently there is no report about oil spill and water pollution.
The local authorities started investigation for the root cause of the capsizing. According to preliminary information, the wrong ballasting caused increased list to starboard, which shifted some trucks and vessels stability worsen.
The Ro-Ro passenger ferry Dharma Kencana VIII (IMO: 8807428) has overall length of 115.00 m, moulded beam of 16.00 m and maximum draft of 4.50 m. The deadweight of the vessel is 1064 DWT and the gross tonnage is 4734 GRT. The ship was built in 1988 by Hayashikane Dockyard in Nagasaki, Japan.