Three Crewmembers Refuse Rescue Waiting for Salvage
Vietnamese authorities are reporting that they were summoned for a rescue operation of a cargo ship in distress but that when they reached the ship some of the crewmembers refused to leave the ship instead reportedly told by the vessel’s owners to remain aboard to manage the salvage operation. All but three crewmembers were removed from the ship, but the current status of the disabled vessel is unclear.
The Border Guard reports that it received a call for assistance at approximately 2:25 a.m. local time from the general cargo ship Hoa Lu 02. The 4,900 dwt vessel, which was built in 2014, was reported in rough seas off the northern coast in the Gulf of Tonkin. The vessel was traveling from the southern port of Go Dau to Hai Pong when it encountered bad weather. During the storm in the Gulf of Tonkin, the vessel lost power and the vessel was sitting low in the water prompting the captain to request an emergency rescue.
The local authorities issued a call for assistance from any fishing vessels and dispatched a rescue boat which reached the cargo ship around 5:00 am local time. The rescue vessel attempted to come alongside but reported it was unable to approach the cargo ship due to rough seas. The vessel was approximately 5 nautical miles off the coast near Nghi Xuan.
After several attempts to evacuate the crew, it was determined that they should board the cargo ship’s rafts. However, since the vessel was not sinking, three of the crewmembers refused to join the others in the rafts. The rescue crew attempted to persuade the crewmembers to join the others in the rafts but they said they had been told by the shipping company to stay with the vessel until a salvage ship could reach them.
The Vietnamese rescue force reports that they recorded the three crewmembers refusing to leave the ship and proceeded to rescue 13 crewmembers. They were transferred from the rafts to the patrol boat and brought to shore at the fishing village of Cua Hoi.