Fire destroys Indo Siren Liveaboard Fire destroys Indo Siren Liveaboard

Indo Siren Fire: iconic liveaboard destroyed

Indo Siren, one of Master Liveaboards’ flagship vessels, is ravaged by fire in Raja Ampat. All guests and crew where evacuated safely to a local beach.

At around 8 a.m. local time, for currently unknown reasons, a fire broke out on the Indo Siren, a flagship vessel belonging to the Master Liveboards fleet. The vessel was in the vicinity of Piaynemo Islands.

When a naval vessel arrived at around 11 a.m, the hull of the ship was already largely destroyed by the fire.

The surrounding reefs and the risk of imminent explosion then prevented the military vessel from approaching safely, which further hindered firefighting operations.

Indo Siren on Fire as divers surfaced

The 15 guests, many of whom were underwater on a dive at the time of the blaze, and 16 crew members on board were safely evacuated to the nearby mainland. They were accommodated for the time of the crisis at Glorias Homestay.

By late afternoon the vessel was completely burnt out. The cause of the fire is now being investigated by the local police. The Phinisi class wooden motor yacht had been in service with the fleet since 2011.

Safety and adequate fire fighter training on board Siren Fleet vessels has never been lacking

Safety has always been an important part of Master Liveaboards’ communication to customers. Indeed, just earlier this year (2023) they released a three part blog series, describing the rules they adhere to and strict safety protocols they follow throughout the entire fleet.

Image © Aaron Wong, Courtesy of Master Liveaboards

There is even a video on Youtube, highlighting the extensive firefighter training and regular practice drills that take place on the sister vessel, Philippine Siren.

Unfortunately, fires spread rapidly on wooden hull vessels. The question remains, however: how and where did the fire start? And where people on board not alerted immediately by smoke alarms? We can only assume that the fire had already taken hold of the hull beyond the rescue capabilities of the well trained crew.

UPDATE: Reports have come back from a retired fire fighter who was on board another vessel assisting the Indo Siren. According to the retiree, the crew had done everything correctly and he praised their fire fighting efforts.

Indo Siren fire: the official statement from Master Liveaboards

“During our current cruise in Raja Ampat, a fire broke out on the Indo Siren on the morning of 30 November. At this stage, we are still in the process of investigating the events surrounding the incident. We are working closely with the authorities so we cannot comment further at this time.”

“All guests and staff have left the ship without further incident. They are now with our staff who have organised accommodation while we take care of all other needs.”

“All guests and staff have left the ship without further incident”

Master Liveaboards, December 1st 2023

“We are in the process of assessing the problems caused by the fire for upcoming trips. Guests who may be affected by cancellations or changes will be informed of the plans in good time.

We are immensely grateful that this incident was not more serious and that all who were on board, both crew and guests, are safe and well.”

We can only echo the words of Master Liveaboards – luckily this was not as serious as it could’ve been. Lives were not lost. But it serves as a vivid reminder of the tragic fire on board the Conception in 2019, which killed 34 people. The incident left lasting damage on the liveaboard industry, with many divers questioning safety on-board vessels.

Can more be done to increase safety and prevent serious fires on liveaboard vessels? Should wooden vessels be equipped with even more safety and firefighting equipment as their steel counterparts? Many of the liveaboard businesses will surely be checking and double checking their fire safety and evacuation plans in the coming days and weeks.

As to Indo Siren: it’s a huge shame to lose such an iconic vessel to fire. We’re curious to find out the results of the inquiry and we’ll bring you more news as it happens.

Leave a Reply