Taiwanese Fishing Vessel Rescues Crew From Sinking Chinese Bulker
The crew of a Chinese owned bulk carrier was rescued today by a Taiwanese fishing boat. The 23,386 dwt Yong Feng was sailing in the Philippine Sea, approximately 400 nautical miles southeast of Japan when they issued a distress call.
The Japanese Coast Guard reported that it received the call for assistance at around 4 am local time. The ship reported that it was taking on water and in danger of sinking. The crew reported that it was planning to abandon the ship in a lifeboat.
The Japanese Coast Guard dispatched a rescue vessel and also organized reconnaissance flights. Before the Japanese patrol boat arrived, the crew however was rescued by a passing Taiwanese fishing boat. Taiwanese officials reported that the 22 crew, consisting of 14 Chinese and 8 Bangladeshi nationals, was uninjured and all safely aboard the fishing boat.
The Yong Feng, which is registered in Panama, had departed Port Morseby, Papua New Guinea on December 30 carrying 13,880 tons of timber. The vessel was expected to arrive in Shanghai, China this weekend.
The Japanese reconnaissance flights reported that the vessel remained afloat, although it was listed. They did not believe it was in immediate danger of sinking, warning mariners in the area that the vessel was drifting in a southwesterly direction. A patrol boat from the Japanese Coast Guard was proceeding to the area to confirm the vessel’s situation.