Fishermen rescued four Chinese seafarers whose ship, Su Jia Hang 6, had been drifting off Hengmen Pier in Zhejiang province, China, for four days. The ship, built in 2002, is a 4,342-dwt general cargo ship.
Su Jia Hang 6, a Sierra Leone-flagged vessel, had begun its voyage on 5 January 2020. However, five days into the voyage, the equipment on the vessel broke down and the captain – a Myanmar national who spoke little Mandarin – left the vessel on a pleasure craft, ostensibly to buy components for the equipment.
The captain never returned, and the crew members had no way of contacting him.
Without any electricity, the ship drifted, and the stranded crew members warmed themselves using the gas canister and gas stove on the vessel.
By 15 January 2020, the battery in the crew’s mobile phones had become flat. At the same time, they realised that the vessel had suffered water ingress and was listing at 25 degrees.
Worried that the vessel could capsize, the seafarers sent out a distress call at 10 am local time that day.
The signal was picked up by a nearby fishing vessel, Zhe Ling Yu 60025, and the fisherman, Pan Xiaojun, steered his craft towards Su Jia Hang 6.
Pan beckoned to the crew of Su Jia Hang 6 not to panic and to put on their lifejackets. He then pulled the four men into his fishing vessel.
By 11:30 am, the rest of the crew were rescued, and Pan escorted them to Wenling city on 16 January.