11 People Rescued, 2 Missing after Their Vessel Sinks in South China Sea

4
226

…As Union Maritime’s Tanker with 22 Crew Goes Missing***

Eleven persons have been rescued, while two remain unaccounted for after their vessel sank in the South China Sea on January 12.

Three passing merchant vessels managed to rescue the stricken crew,  the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) informed.

“MPA has been providing navigational broadcasts to vessels in the vicinity to report any sightings of persons overboard and to navigate with caution in the vicinity of the incident,” the port authority said.

In addition, the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) has also deployed one Super Puma helicopter and one Fokker-50 maritime patrol aircraft to support the search and rescue operation.

MPA said it was coordinating the ongoing search and rescue operation with the Malaysian and Indonesian authorities.

Further details about the type of the vessel that sank and the reasons behind it capsizing are yet to be disclosed.

In the meantime, UK based tanker owner and operator Union Maritime said that it has not heard from one of its vessels, MT Barrett, since late Tuesday, January 9.

The vessel was last reported to be at anchor off Benin, West Africa. Seafarers in the region are frequently being targeted by local pirate groups despite efforts of local navies led by the Nigerian Navy to curb attacks.

“On Wednesday we alerted local maritime authorities and are exploring all possible options and efforts as we continuously monitor the situation,” the company said.

“Whilst we are tirelessly working to locate the vessel, our primary concern is for the 22 crew on board and ensuring their safety.”

Union Maritime informed that it regularly operates from ports in this region and has a rigorous safety and security protocol.

“Crews are repeatedly drilled in all safety and emergency procedures,” Union Maritime added.

The MT Barrett (IMO: 9351749) is a 11,999-dwt tanker built in 2005 and registered in the Marshall Islands.

World Maritime News