The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) this morning alerted the world to the presence of ship that had been "dismasted" and was heading for Geraldton.
While it was once suspected to be an asylum seeker vessel, it was soon confirmed that the vessel was the KRI Dewaruci, a Class A tall ship normally used as a sail training vessel for naval cadets but is in Australian waters as part of the 2013 Tall Ships Festival.
The ship is the largest tall ship in the Indonesian fleet
AMSA informs us that the ship is suffering damage to its mast and rigging.
Contact has been made with the crew on board the vessel who have reported they do not require immediate assistance. A Perth-based Dornier is en route to provide aerial surveillance for the vessel.
The vessel is due to arrive in Geraldton tomorrow and AMSA will remain in regular contact with the crew and provide any assistance that may become apparent. There is reportedly about 150 people on board, 82 of them being crew.
We do not have any confirmed information about the how the vessel came to be damaged.
Geraldton residents have told Everything Geraldton they look forward to heading down to have a look at the ship when it arrives. Due to poor weather Geraldton missed out on a recent visit by the Dutch Tall Ships, so this unexpected arrival may satiate some pent up expectation.
More information about the ship is available at the links below, and we have embedded a recent video of the ship to give you an idea of what it's like on board.
Why was the ship near Australia?
KRI Dewaruci, set sail from Surabaya on Tuesday, August 13, 2013 for a 60 day voyage to October 10, 2013 around the Australian continent, intending to join the International Tall Ship Race.
The route was to take Dewaruci from Surabaya, East Java, to Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara, then entering Australian waters from Darwin, Perth, Melbourne, Hobart, Sydney, Auckland (New Zealand), Brisbane, Cairns before returning to Darwin.
During her voyage around the land of down under and New Zealand, all the crew and Indonesian Navy cadets intended on conducting official visits to local authorities while promoting Indonesian art and culture, and tourist destinations. It was hoped that the ship will help increase tourism from Australia to Indonesia.