Twelve seafarers from a cement carrier are missing after they jumped into the water off Taiwan’s Taichung port on 31 October, after the ship apparently malfunctioned.
The 2014-built cement carrier, Xing Shun No. 1, was manned by 20 Indonesian crewmen, and the tragic day began in the morning after tropical storm Nalgae caused high waves to hit the ship while it was anchored. Three of the crewmen became afflicted with head and calf injuries, one suffered a broken femur, and one suffered a facial injury. They were then helicoptered to a local hospital for treatment.
Hours later, at 3.10 pm (local time), the remaining 17 seafarers informed the Maritime Port Bureau that they were abandoning the ship as the vessel appeared to be sinking after suffering suspected engine failure.
It is believed that all 17 men attempted to evacuate in life rafts, but fell into the water due to the storm. A passing Evergreen container ship, 2,851 TEU Ever Birth, rescued five crewmen from the water.
Xing Shun No. 1 sank at 8.45 pm (local time) the same day, 26km off the Changhua coast. Taiwan Coast Guard personnel found two empty life rafts floating near the area where the ship went down, sparking fears for the missing crewmen. Two patrol vessels have been despatched to help look for the missing seafarers, while nearby ships have been asked to keep a lookout. However, the storm is hampering rescue efforts.
S&P Global’s Sea-Web vessel-tracking data shows that Xing Shun No. 1, owned by China’s Jin Shun Maritime, had departed Vietnam’s Cai Lan port, carrying cement. The ship arrived in Taichung the day the tragedy happened.