Four Crewmembers Go Overboard in a Storm Off Taichung

File image of a life buoy
File image

Published Oct 19, 2022 9:11 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Monday, four crewmembers went over the side of a bulker off the coast of Taiwan, leaving three injured and one missing. 

On Monday afternoon, the Vietnamese bulker VIMC Sunrise was carrying out an anchoring evolution off the port of Mailiao, located south of Taichung on Taiwan's west coast. The weather was poor, with high winds driven by the outer effects of Typhoon Nesat, a cyclone passing to the south of Taiwan. Conditions were severe enough that the port of Taichung had to implement on-and-off closures, and windspeeds were about 35-40 knots. 

At about 1700 hours, four members of the VIMC Sunrise's crew - including the chief mate - accidentally fell over the side. The crew tossed lifebuoys to the men in the water, and three of them were recovered. The survivors were seriously injured: two had broken feet and one had a broken hand. 

The chief mate was still missing, and the crew contacted the Taiwan Coast Guard for help. The coast guard's navigation safety center launched a search with multiple helicopters and patrol boats, aided by other agencies. The weather conditions on scene were rough, with wind gusts up to 60 knots, and the search had to be called off for the night without success. 

The VIMC Sunrise transited south to the port of Kaohsiung overnight, where she moored safely at about 0700 hours Tuesday morning. The injured crewmembers were transferred ashore for treatment at a hospital.