A Denmark vessel had rescued crew members of a Belizean cargo ship adrift off the south-central Vietnamese province of Binh Thuan's coast, the provincial port authority said on Thursday.
Belize’s Marimoto Maru ship had been tilted about 51 nautical miles from Phu Quy Island, which is located around 56 nautical miles from the mainland of Binh Thuan Province, at 5:00 pm on Wednesday.
All 18 crew members on board the vessel thus jumped into the sea, after which the Binh Thuan port authority could not contact the ship.
Coast guard officers on duty on Phu Quy Island carried out a rescue to look for the missing crew members, as well as calling for joint efforts from their counterparts from other border posts and fishermen on boats operating near Marimoto Maru’s last location, which had strong winds and high waves.
At 9:30 pm on Thursday, the Danish-registered Mathilde Maersk safely rescued and carried the 18 stranded crew members to Malaysia per its planned journey, instead of handing them over to an authorized Vietnamese agency for safety reasons given the extreme weather on the night.
Meanwhile, Marimoto Maru continued drifting at a speed of two to three nautical miles per hour in the south-southwest direction, with no one on board and no signals.
The Binh Thuan port authority has requested relevant units to issue warnings against the drifting vessel to avoid collisions.
On Thursday, South Korean rescuers also saved 17 Vietnamese crew members aboard Huoei Crystal cargo vessel after the ship had encountered an accident in the waters located between Japan, South Korea, and North Korea a day before, according to the Vietnam Maritime Search and Rescue Coordination Center (Vietnam MRCC).
The Panamanian-flagged cargo ship, owned by a Japanese company with 18 crew members of Vietnamese nationality, sent a distress signal at about 7:30 am on Wednesday (Vietnam time), when it was transporting coal from Russia’s Nakhodka to Japan’s Kinuura.
The crew members then abandoned the vessel into the ocean.
A Russian ship found 17 of the crew members dependent on a lifeboat at 8:30 pm on Wednesday but could not implement a rescue mission due to bad weather, while one member remained missing.
A South Korean search and rescue ship rescued the 17 Vietnamese at about 2:16 am on Thursday (Vietnam time) and brought them to Donghae Port in South Korea.
Rescuers have continued searching for the missing crew member.
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