General cargo ship sinks in Taiwan; all 13 crew saved

Image of coastguard at work Credit: Taiwan Coast Guard

Thirteen crew members were rescued from a Taiwanese general cargo ship after the vessel suffered water ingress in Wuchiu port in Taiwan’s Kinmen County.

The domestic ship, Da Chuan, was discharging cargos of construction materials at the port about 18:00 local time on 2 August 2019 when strong winds and waves blew the ship into a nearby wave breaker.

The vessel sustained serious damage to its hull and the resulting water ingress caused the ship to begin sinking.

The captain promptly ordered the crew to abandon ship and contacted the Taiwan Coast Guard, and within 40 minutes two rescue craft were dispatched to the scene.

All the crew on Da Chuan, comprising seven Taiwanese and six Indonesians, quickly donned life jackets, were pulled onto the rescue craft, and brought ashore.

By 20:00 local time that evening Da Chuan had completely submerged.

A notice issued by the Maritime Port Bureau said that the necessary steps have been taken to minimise potential oil pollution. The coastguard, as well as personnel from the Environmental Protection Bureau of Kinmen, have set up oil-blocking equipment in the water. Da Chuan is understood to have had 27 tonnes of marine gasoil and 10 tonnes of marine diesel oil in its fuel tanks at the time it sank.

Notices have also been issued to ships navigating the surrounding waters to alert them to the shipwreck. Arrangements are being made to recover the wreckage at the earliest possible time to prevent potential oil leakages.