Oil streak found, Vietnam missing ship's fate still unknown

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An oil streak has been detected near the site where a Vietnamese ship with 23 crewmen went missing off the Philippines on Sunday, but the ship and its crew are nowhere to be found.

According to Vietnam Maritime Search and Rescue Coordination Center (VMRCC), besides the oil streak, rescue forces from Japan and the Philippines found no traces of the Vinalines Queen, which was lost at 20-00N; 123-47.1E, off the northeast of the Luzon Island.

Both forces have suspended their search, VMRCC said, adding that previously on Sunday and Monday, Taiwanese rescue forces couldn't continue their search either because of bad weather.

Vietnam has informed boats and ships operating near the site, which is some 5,000 meters deep, to join in search and rescue efforts, the center stressed.

One of the largest ships of Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines), Vinalines Queen was transporting 54,000 tons of nickel ore from Morowali in Indonesia to China's Ningde when the accident occurred.

The company said before disappearing, the ship tilted 18 degrees. About one hour before, the boat also reported that it tilted 20 degrees due to unknown reasons, while the waters where it was located had strong winds, Vinalines added.


Vietnamese ship with 23 crewmen missing off Philippines

Vinalines said the ship, built in Japan in 2005, has an advanced self-protection system that can send out emergency signals in dangerous situations. This allows rescuers to detect its location even when it is under water.

However, since it went missing, Vinalines Queen has not sent any signals, which was probably because the system broke down, an expert told Thanh Nien.

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