An Indonesia-flagged passenger ship KM Wihan Sejahtera sank as it departed the Port of Tanjung Perak, Surabaya in Indonesia, in the early hours on 16 November.

The listing was reportedly caused by an imbalance in the loading of the ship, which was carrying hundreds of passengers and transporting numerous vehicles.

Reports emerged that the vessel was carrying 212 instead of declared 153 passengers.

“The rescue vessels and emergency services have safely evacuated all the passengers and the crew.”

The RoRo ship, which was travelling to Maumere in East Nusa Tenggara province, capsized in Lamong Bay after colliding with a submerged object and consequently water started seeping inside it.

The 185m-long ship sank at a 200m distance from the shore, however the crew could not return to the port, reported Maritime News.

Terminal Lamong Bay public relations head Reka Yusmara was quoted by media source as saying: “Currently the ship had tilted back and partially sank, but we are afraid that there might be some people inside the wreck.”

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The rescue vessels and emergency services have safely evacuated all the passengers and the crew.

The passengers slid along down the side of the ship before jumping into the water below where rescue boats and fishing boats were waiting to help.

No casualties were reported in the incident. An investigation has been launched to identify the cause of the incident.

The ship, which was built in 1985 by Fukuoka Shipbuilding in Japan, operated on routes Surabaya-Labuan Bajo, Ende Baru, Flores, Nusa Tenggara Timur, Indonesia.