A Norwegian cargo ship with 19 Filipino crew members sank off the coast of southern Vietnam with only one man known to have survived, Vietnamese officials said on January 4.
According to Vietnamese news agency, Tuoitre News, a unit under Vietnam Maritime Search and Rescue Coordination Center (Vietnam MRCC) on January 3 interviewed the lone survivor, Angentito Rojas,42, who is said to be the chef of Bulk Jupiter by telephone.
Rojas said he was tired and dizzy, but he could answer the question quite clearly.
Rojas confirmed there were 19 crew members on board the missing ship, and all were Filipinos. The incident happened to the ship at about 6:00-7:00 in the morning of January 2.
When asked for more information related to the accident, Rojas said he did not remember and he was tired, so he wanted to rest.
Despite being explained and convinced that all of the information he supplies will help a great deal in save the remaining missing crew members, Rojas refused to continue talking.
In a statement issued on January 3, Bergen-based Gearbulk said Bulk Jupiter issued distress signals at 22:54 hours UTC on January 1 in position lat 9″.01′ 01:001N, long 109″ 15′ 26.01E.
The vessel departed Kuantan on 30th December 2014 at around 20:00 hours local time, with 19 crew members, all Filipinos, on board and about 46,400 mts of Bauxite in bulk, stowed in all five of her cargo holds.
Repeated attempts to contact the vessel on all communication channels were unsuccessful.
The Japanese Coast Guard received the distress alert and immediatley initiated search and rescue operation. Lifeboats and life rafts have been observed in and inspected but found empty.
The tug boat, M/V OLNG Muttrah, has picked up one surviving crew member in the area. In addition, two bodies have been recovered.
The search and rescue operation, lead by Vietnam MRCC, Vung Tao, continues.
All relatives of the crew have been notified and a family centre has been established in Manila.
Our focus is now on the search and rescue operation and to look after the families affected.
Gearbulk wants to express that their thoughts are with the Crew and their Families in this difficult situation, and also to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved for their help and support in this difficult situation.