Hanoi: A Norwegian cargo ship with 19 Filipino crew members sank off the coast of southern Vietnam with only one man known to have survived, the owner and officials said today.
Two bodies have been recovered since the Bulk Jupiter sank on Friday en route from Malaysia to China, and efforts were continuing to find the others, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement issued in Manila.
The lone survivor was the chief cook on the ship, it said.
The ship owner, Bergen-based Gearbulk, said the vessel was 287 kilometers off Vietnam with a cargo of bauxite when it sent a distress signal that was picked up by the Japanese coast guard. The Philippine Foreign Affairs said the ship sank off the coast of Vung Tau, which is about 96 kilometers from the southern commercial hub of Ho Chi Minh City.
The rescue operation was hampered yesterday by hazy weather and high waves.
Vessels from Liberia, Oman, Singapore and China were helping in the search, the Philippine Foreign Affairs said.