Vietnamese fishermen missing after bulk carrier collision

Authorities discuss the rescue plan. Credit: Duy Cong / Tuoi Tre

Nine seafarers remain missing following the sinking of their Vietnamese fishing vessel after it collided with a bulk carrier in the Gulf of Tonkin, 65 km south of Bach Long Vi island, Vietnam, 167 km southeast of Hai Phong.

Of the 19 crew on board the Nghe An fishing vessel NA 95899 TS, one has been confirmed dead, nine were successfully rescued and nine remain unaccounted for.
NA 95899 TS, collided with the 2001-built, 16,941 dwt bulk carrier PACIFIC 01 of Ho Chi Minh City-based International Transportation & Trading JSC (ITC) on 28 June at about 13.00 hours. Following the collision, the bulk carrier immediately dropped its liferaft and attempted a search-and-rescue (SAR) operation to save the crew on board the fishing vessel.

Although the fishing vessel immediately sunk after the collision, the rapid response from the crew of the Pacific 01 resulted in nine fishermen being rescued. The Vietnam Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre was immediately informed of the incident and started a SAR operation that is currently under way.

Four vessels were sent to the location to search for the missing seafarers. Its Chinese counterparts also deployed a number of vessels and aircraft to aid with the SAR mission.

At the time of the collision, PACIFIC 01 was en route from Saigon to Cam Pha. Following the SAR operation, the bulk carrier headed to the nearest port to disembark all rescued fishermen.

According to the nine rescued seafarers, the missing crew members were all asleep in their cabins at the time of the collision.