12 crew missing after ship sinks in the Taiwan Strait

Five members of a ship’s crew were rescued, but 12 are missing, after a bulk carrier sank off Taiwan’s southwest coast last night, October 31.

The 10,000 ton cement carrier Xing Shun No.1 first encountered problems on October 30 when three crew members were injured after a wave swept over the deck when the ship was located 50 nautical miles west of the Port of Kaohsiung. Taiwan’s National Airborne Service Corps dispatched a black hawk helicopter to airlift the three injured Indonesian nationals to Kaohsiung City for medical treatment.

At around 3:00 pm yesterday, October 31, the Maritime and Port Bureau was notified by Keelung Coastal Radio that a distress call had been received from the Xing Shun No.1, which had lost power and was adrift in the channel east of the Changhua Waihai Wind Farm. The Master of the Xing Shun No.1 informed the coast guard that the vessel was listing and the crew of 17 Indonesian nationals were preparing to abandon ship.

The National Coast Guard Administration immediately dispatched a 100-ton patrol boat to the location. At 8:45 pm the Xing Shun No.1 was reported to have sunk. Five crew members in a life raft thrown from an Evergreen container ship were picked up by the coast guard, but 12, also reported to be in life rafts remain missing as the search continues today, Monday, November 1.

The Panamanian-flagged Xing Shun No.1 was en route from the Port of Hon Gai, Vietnam to the Port of Taichung, Taiwan when it encountered rough seas generated by the combination of northeast monsoonal winds, and severe tropical storm Nalgae in the South China Sea.

map showing area ship sank off Taiwan's southwest coast
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