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Home Out of the Box Offshore vessel snaps in two after Typhoon Chaba hits, 26 crewmen missing

Offshore vessel snaps in two after Typhoon Chaba hits, 26 crewmen missing

Twenty-six crew members on a Chinese offshore wind installation vessel have been left dead or missing after a fourth crew member was rescued today (4 July).

The ship, Fujing 001, belongs to Shanghai GMPE Technology and was working in waters in Yangjiang in Guangdong province when Typhoon Chaba hit southern China on 2 July.

The impact broke Fujing 001 into two parts, causing all its 30 crew members to jump into the waters. The surviving crew members, who were rescued by helicopters deployed by the Hong Kong search and rescue authorities, reported that the waves were 10m high and it was likely that their missing shipmates were swept away as winds blew at 144km/hour.

Guangdong Maritime Search and Rescue Centre said in a notice today that as of 3.30pm local time today (4 July), 12 bodies have been found, adding that the corpses are believed to belong to persons who drowned 50 nautical miles southwest of the site where Fujing 001 sank.

Shanghai GMPE's representative said that the anchorage where Fujing 001 took shelter was still very close to the centre of the typhoon. "The winds were too strong and the force caused the anchor to snap, resulting in the vessel losing control," said the representative. "All the crew members were wearing their life jackets just before the typhoon hit, and when the vessel broke, they abandoned ship."

China's minister of emergency management, Huang Ming, said that it is necessary to make every effort to find the missing crew members.

Seven planes, 246 boats and 498 fishing vessels have been dispatched to search for the missing crew members.

In response to queries as to whether operators of offshore vessels should have taken precautions by suspending work on the day before the typhoon, Huang said, "We should learn lessons and prevent typhoon-related incidents by getting vessels to return to port and people to move ashore. We must prevent similar incidents from happening again, thoroughly investigate, and strictly pursue responsibility in accordance with laws and regulations."

Martina Li
Asia Correspondent

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