[Brief] On Thursday, the Japanese coast guard initiated a search for 12 missing crewmembers of the 300 gt Chinese fishing boat Lurong Yuanyu 378 after she collided with the 115,000 dwt tanker Brightoil Lucky.
The vessels collided at a position about 250 nm north of Matsue, Japan, in the Sea of Japan (or the East Sea, as it is known in South Korea). The Japanese coast guard reported that the fishing vessel capsized, and that 12 of its 16 crewmembers are missing. The Lucky's 21 seafarers were unharmed.
Following a request from Chinese SAR authorities, Japan's Eighth Regional Coast Guard headquarters dispatched three patrol boats to conduct a search for the missing fishermen. The cause of the collision is under investigation.
The Brightoil Lucky, a 2009-built Aframax, was under way for the Russian oil port of Kozmino at the time of the collision. She is one of four vessels in her class in Brightoil Shipping Service's fleet, and has no record of inspection deficiencies related to safety of navigation.
Brightoil is one of China's largest privately held oil companies, and it has a wide array of petroleum investments, primarily in upstream oil and gas. The firm recently announced a plan to acquire large natural gas projects valued in the range of the $2-3 billion.