Update: 20:33 | 18/12/2020
The bodies of two Chinese crew members from a Panamanian ship that sank off Binh Thuan Province on Thursday have been found while 11 others were rescued.
Nguyen Hung Tan, chief of office of the central province’s Search and Rescue Command said eight Chinese and three Vietnamese crew members were picked up by the command’s vessel.
A Panamanian ship with 15 crew members tilts off Phu Quy Island in south central Vietnam, December 17, 2020. Photo courtesy of Binh Thuan Search and Rescue Command.
They are receiving care on board and will be taken to Phu Quy Island for treatment. Rescuers are looking for the remaining two crew members, a Chinese and a Vietnamese.
The Center for Maritime Search and Rescue Region III in the southern beach town Vung Tau said it discovered the bodies of the two Chinese men still clinging to lifeboats.
The sunken ship had been carrying clay from Malaysia to Hong Kong when at around 4:30 p.m. on Thursday its captain contacted border forces on Phu Quy Island, 56 nautical miles from shore, and said the vessel was tilting due to the cargo.
He sought permission to dock on Phu Quy Island to fix the problem and received it. But when it was just 1.5 nautical miles from Phu Quy Port, the vessel sank.
All crew members jumped into the sea, and emergency signals for rescue began to be sent out.
The Binh Thuan border defense force and the Phu Quy search and rescue station dispatched ships to the scene to rescue the crew members, but it took until Friday morning to find the 11.