Chinese fishing boat does not survive capsize – preliminary investigation

A Chinese fishing boat capsized and did not survive

BEIJING – A fishing vessel carrying 39 crew members from China, Indonesia and the Philippines did not survive when it capsized in the Indian Ocean last week, according to a preliminary government investigation released Tuesday.

The Chinese ship capsized on May 16, with 17 Chinese, 17 Indonesians and 5 Filipinos on board.

Read: 39 missing, including 5 Filipino sailors, after Chinese fishing vessel capsizes in Indian Ocean

„From the analysis of the overturned vessel… it has been preliminarily determined that there are no survivors from the vessel,” Beijing’s Ministry of Transport said in an official social media post.

The boat overturned in Australia’s vast search and rescue area about 5,000 kilometers (2,700 nautical miles) west of Perth, the state capital of Western Australia.

Chinese state media reported on Monday that seven bodies had been recovered by Chinese and Sri Lankan rescue ships, without specifying which country the dead were from.

Australia has sent three aircraft and four ships to assist international search and rescue efforts.

China’s transport ministry said the rescue operation had been downgraded to a „48-hour small-scale investigation” as of Tuesday morning.

Rescuers have scoured an area of ​​about 64,000 square kilometers (18,700 square nautical miles) and „found no sign of survivors,” the ministry said.

Rough weather

The fishing vessel’s disaster beacon was first spotted last week as Hurricane Fabian whipped up waves seven meters (23 feet) high and sustained winds of 120 kilometers per hour (75 miles per hour).

Rough weather conditions hampered rescue efforts, with the Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JRCC) in Canberra warning of „challenging” survival conditions.

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China’s Ministry of Transport said rescue boats left for a minute of mourning early Tuesday, and by midday only seven vessels remained at the scene.

„The position of the shipwreck shows no apparent change from the previous day and is gradually moving towards the northeast,” the ministry said.

The ship, belonging to Penglai Jinglu Fishery Company, one of China’s major state-owned fishing companies, capsized.

According to the North Pacific Fisheries Commission, it is authorized to catch neon flying squid and Pacific saury.

It left Cape Town, South Africa for Busan, South Korea on May 5, according to the Marine Traffic Watch website, which last spotted the vessel on May 10 southeast of Reunion, a small French island in the Indian Ocean.

Penglai Jinglu Fishery conducts squid and tuna fishing operations in international waters, including the waters around the Indian Ocean and Latin America.

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