Vietnam is searching for the missing Vinalines Queen ship and its crewmen between Philippine and Taiwanese seawaters, covering the area of 40,000 kilometers.
Nguyen Anh Vu, general director of Vietnam Marine Cooperation Center (VN MRRC), stated that 13 boats operating in the area have agreed to provide assisatnce.
Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang has directed the Vietnam Marine Department and Vietnam National Shipping Lines to utilize equipment to search for the missing crewmen and locate the vessel.
A Taiwanese rescue agency informed MRRC on December 30 that the British ship found a man adrift on a life raft on its way to Singapore, 6 days after the vessel went down under the 5,000m-deep Philippine seas. The rescued man, Dau Ngoc Hung, said his ship had sunk and he was the only survivor among the 23 crew members.
The ship was carrying more than 54,000 tons of nickel ore and was travelling from Indonesia to China when it lost contact. The emergency equipment in the vessel reportedly should have automatically sent SOS signals to satellites and coastal rescue stations however it remains unclear clear why no signal was transmitted.
The 190 meter Vinalines Queen is one of the largest and most modern cargo ships of the Vietnamese fleet, with a capacity of more than 56,000 tons and an advanced self-protection system that is able to send out emergency signals in potentially hazardous situations. It has been operating for Vietnam National Shipping Lines, Vinalines, one of the country’s main state-owned enterprises, since 2005.
World Maritime News Staff, January 2, 2012; Image: HaizhouShipyard