Two life boats from sunken ship found, but no sign of 12 missing crew

An air and sea search for 12 missing Indonesian crew members continues today after two empty lifeboats from the sunken vessel were found yesterday with no signs of life on board.

The crew of 17 Indonesian nationals from the cement carrier Xing Shun No.1 abandoned ship in heavy seas at around 3:00pm, October 31, as the stricken vessel began to list and water began to flood the hold.

Taiwan’s National Coast Guard Administration dispatched the 100-ton patrol ship Hsinchu to the area for search and rescue operations.

In the evening of October 31, the Evergreen container ship, Ever Birth rescued five crew members from the Xing Shun No.1. However, 12 crew members who were believed to have taken to life rafts remained missing.

5 crew members rescued by a container ship
5 crew members picked up by the Evergreen container ship, Ever Birth arrived at the Port of Taichung today, November 2, 2022. Picture: National Coast Guard Administration.

Three more Coast Guard patrol ships and helicopters from the National Airborne Service Corps joined the search yesterday, locating two lifeboats from the Xing Shun No.1 at 23.5 and 21 nautical miles south of the Port of Magong, Penghu Islands, in the morning. However, there were no crew aboard the boats.

lifeboat from the Xing Shun No.1 with no survivors on board.
Two lifeboats from the Xing Shun No.1 were located, but no survivors were found on board.

Rough sea conditions with swells up to 6 meters and winds with gusts up to Beaufort-Scale 11 hampered the search.

The Xing Shun No.1 is was carrying around 200 tons of heavy oil, 49 tons of light oil, 111 liters of lubricating oil, and around 9,500 tons of cement raw materials. The Central Maritime Center said that there is currently no residual oil leakage on the sea surface, and authorities continue to monitor the situation while waiting for conditions to improve before making a survey of the site, and plans for removing the oil aboard the sunken vessel.

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