RV Saigon Pandaw sinks during ocean transfer

SINGAPORE — The RV Saigon Pandaw has sunk off the Malaysian coast while under tug tow from Saigon to Singapore and then on to Yangon.

There was no one on board so there were no casualties. “We are still awaiting the results of the official investigation but we are told that the hull became swamped with water and capsized in heavy seas,” said Paul Strachan, founder of Pandaw River Expeditions.

The Saigon, to have been renamed the Sagaing, was built only three years ago in Vietnam and was on her way to take up duties in Burma where demand is now so high.

“We have contacted all passengers booked and have the space in other ships to relocate them or if not convenient, passengers will be refunded the full amounts paid. Passengers have been incredibly kind and understanding over this and we are deeply grateful to them for their sympathy at such a time,” said Strachan.

Despite this loss, Pandaw has two new ships under construction to meet growing demand for river expeditions in Burma.