Two Bodies and VDR Recovered from Sanchi
A Chinese salvage team has managed to board the stricken tanker Sanchi and recover two bodies and the voyage data recorder.
The NITC-owned tanker is adrift and burning after being involved in a collision on January 6. She was carrying nearly a million barrels (136,000 tons) of ultra-light crude and condensate to South Korea when she collided with the Hong Kong-flagged bulk carrier CF Crystal about 160 nautical miles off Shanghai. Condensate is toxic and highly flammable, and there have been multiple explosions on the vessel.
The Chinese transport ministry has announced that four rescuers equipped with masks and bottles of oxygen were placed on the deck at the back of the Sanchi with the help of a crane. They discovered the bodies of two sailors in a lifeboat. After recovering the black box, the rescuers tried to reach the living areas. But the temperature reached 89oC (192oF), and they could not enter. The salvage team was on the vessel for less than an hour before being forced to leave due to worsening conditions.
The body of another crew member was found last week. The rest of the crew, which included 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis, remains missing.
There are 13 vessels taking part in salvage efforts, 10 Chinese, two Japanese and one South Korean, but adverse weather conditions are hampering operations.
The tanker is drifting towards Japanese waters.
The cause of the collision is still not known.