‘No survivors’ in capsized Chinese fishing vessel
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‘No survivors’ in capsized Chinese fishing vessel

Seven bodies recovered, 32 crew members still missing from boat in remote part of Indian Ocean

The fishing vessel Lupeng Yuanyu 028 was carrying 39 crew when it capsized in the Indian Ocean on May 16. (Photo: MarineTraffic.com)
The fishing vessel Lupeng Yuanyu 028 was carrying 39 crew when it capsized in the Indian Ocean on May 16. (Photo: MarineTraffic.com)

BEIJING: There were no survivors after a fishing vessel carrying 17 Chinese, 17 Indonesian and five Filipino crew members capsized last week in the Indian Ocean, according to an initial Chinese government investigation report released on Tuesday.

“From an analysis of the ship’s capsizing, the timing of the incident, the structure of the hull and previous diving operation, the remaining space in the shipwreck with air that can support human life is extremely limited, and it is preliminarily judged that there are no survivors from the ship,” Beijing’s transport ministry said.

The distant-water fishing vessel Lupeng Yuanyu 028 capsized early on May 16 within Australia’s vast search-and-rescue region, Beijing’s ambassador to Canberra said last Thursday. It was last seen 5,000 kilometres to the west of Perth, the state capital of Western Australia.

The Chinese transport ministry on Tuesday said rescuers had trawled an area of around 48,400 square kilometres and “did not find any sign of survivors”.

Seven bodies were recovered from the vessel, state media said on Monday, days after President Xi Jinping ordered an all-out search to rescue and recover missing crew members.

Several countries, including Australia, India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, the Maldives and the Philippines, joined in the rescue efforts, state-run CCTV reported. The Indian navy reported finding the ship on May 18.

The vessel is owned by Penglai Jinglu Fishery Co Ltd based in Shandong province. The company has yet to release a statement on the incident.

Of the 39 people who were originally on board, it was not immediately clear which crew members had been found.

Sri Lankan divers found and recovered the remains in the cabin of the ship, CCTV reported, according to the Chinese Ministry of Transport.

The wrecked vessel continues to slowly drift eastward, CCTV said.

According to state media, 13 ships are still in the vicinity of where the boat sank.

CCTV footage last week showed high-powered marine radar on ships that were trying to locate the capsized vessel, while crew members were seen using visual equipment to pan sea waters to locate survivors.

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