The Malaysian Navy experienced a setback in October when one of its largest ships, the Sri Inderapura, an 8,500-ton (full load) tank landing ship, suffered a devastating fire. The incident, which did not result in any major injuries, was reportedly caused by a short circuit and occurred while the ship sat pierside at its naval base in Lumut. The retired U.S. Navy Newport-class LST, formerly named the USS Spartanburg County (LST-1192), was decommissioned in December 1994 and has been in service with the Malaysian fleet since she was purchased for $18.7 million and transferred on 31 January 1995. Built by the National Steel and Shipbuilding Company in San Diego, California, the vessel was originally commissioned in September 1971. Because of her age, she is unlikely to be repaired, and Malaysian naval officials will likely press for a replacement vessel to be acquired in the near future.
The Dutch amphibious transport dock HNLMS Johan De Witt spent much of this past fall off the coast of West Africa and donated two river inspection boats to the Organisation pour la Mise en Valeur du Fleuve Senegal (OMVS), a government organization that provides economic and environmental assistance in Senegal's river basins. The new inspection craft, pictured here painted blue and yellow with the Johan De Witt in the background, were carried on board the 16,000-ton (full load) warship and will be used to help rehabilitate and survey the Senegal River. The Johan De Witt also visited Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana, and Cape Verde during the tour to assist with naval and maritime law enforcement training and to take part in a number of humanitarian initiatives. This voyage marked the first European-led deployment under the African Partnership Station program aimed at improving security and collaboration on the continent.
On the night of 27 October the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force warship Kurama, a 6,800-ton (full load) helicopter-carrying destroyer, suffered extensive bow damage in a collision with the 7,400-ton South Korean container ship Carina Star. The accident occurred in the Kanmon Strait under a bridge connecting the Japanese islands of Kyushu and Honshu. Sea traffic in the area was halted for roughly four hours as parties raced successfully to extinguish the resulting fires on board both vessels. Although personnel injuries were minor, the Kurama suffered a significantly mangled hull forward of her pennant number. The Carina Star received moderate hull damage forward of the bridge. The Kurama had been returning from a Japanese fleet review while the Carina Star was sailing from Busan, South Korea, en route to Osaka, Japan.