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Eight Missing in Collision off China's Hainan Island

SAR crewmembers recover debris from the wreck site (Hainan Maritime Administration)
SAR crewmembers recover floating debris from the wreck site (Hainan Maritime Administration)

Published Apr 7, 2024 6:53 PM by The Maritime Executive

Eight fishermen have gone missing off the coast of Hainan Island after their vessel collided with a feeder ship, according to regional search and rescue officials. 

The fishing vessel Yuenan Aoyu 36062 sank Wednesday night after colliding with the 1,000 TEU boxship SITC Danang about 20 nm to the south of Yinggehaizhen, a town on the southwestern corner of Hainan. SAR authorities have searched nearly 6,000 square nautical miles with 21 rescue vessels and five aircraft, but as of Saturday night, no survivors have been found. 

The vessel has been located using sonar and remotely-operated vehicles (ROVs), and a rescue detachment from the PLA Navy's Southern Theater Command obtained video imagery of its hull markings for confirmation.  However, the wrecked vessel is surrounded by its own loose fishing nets, and when combined with rapid currents on scene, the conditions are too dangerous for divers to approach for a search, officials told China Daily. 

The cause of the collision is under investigation. SITC Danang remains at anchor at the nearby port of Sanya, Hainan.