The RV Saigon Pandaw, of Pandaw River Expeditions, sank during an ocean transfer on December 21, 2013. The vessel was under tug tow off the Malaysian coast en route from Saigon to Singapore and then on to Yangon when it was lost.
Because there was no one on board the vessel at the time, there were no casualties. While Pandaw River Expeditions is still awaiting the results of the official investigation, the company says it has been told that the hull became swamped with water and capsized in heavy seas.
"The Saigon, to have been renamed the Sagaing, was a much loved ship by all who sailed in her," said Paul Strachan, founder of Pandaw River Expeditions. "Built only three years ago in Vietnam, she was on her way to take up duties in Burma where demand is now so high."
Pandaw River Expeditions has contacted all passengers booked and has space in other ships to relocate them, or passengers may opt for a full refund of the amount 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, with two new ships under construction, we at Pandaw still have the capacity to meet growing demand for river expeditions in Burma."