Hanoi: Vietnamese seaman survived five days
floating in open ocean with only a life jacket for protection
after his cargo ship sank and all his 22 crew mates died,
before he was rescued on Friday, officials said.
Vietnam's state shipping firm said the Vinalines Queen,
which disappeared on Christmas Day after passing the island of
Luzon in the Philippines, had capsized, apparently without
sending a distress signal.
The country's government website said the single surviving
sailor, Dau Ngoc Hung, was found in open water by the British
ship London Courage today morning, almost a week after his own
vessel went down in violent seas.
Nguyen Anh Vu, director of the Vietnam Maritime Rescue
Cooperation Centre said Hung had reported that "the vessel
sank very quickly... after being strongly overturned to the
left" in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Hung, 31, was picked up around 350 kilometres away from
the site of the accident, Vu said on the government site,
adding that the rescue vest had saved the sailor's life. The
British ship is now on its way to Singapore.
Vu said that the Vinalines Queen had gone down in very bad
weather in waters up to 5,000 metres (2,780 fathoms) deep.
"According to our initial information, only one sailor has
been rescued and the vessel has not been found yet," an
official at Hanoi-based Vinalines told a news agency, asking not to be
Vinalines said its ship was carrying more than 54,000
tonnes of nickel ore and was travelling from Indonesia to
China when it lost contact.
Vietnam had appealed to the Philippine, Taiwanese and
Japanese coastguards for help in finding the vessel, but had
heard nothing of the ship until now.
"We are now focusing our efforts on searching for the
Vinalines Queen," the company official added.
First Published: Friday, December 30, 2011, 21:52