The search for the crew of the Chinese fishing vessel Lu Peng Yuan Yu 028 emphasized the important role that merchant shipping plays in maritime search and rescue operations. Although the crew’s fate was tragic, the incident showcased the solidarity within the seafaring community, as they rallied together to provide assistance when fellow seafarers were in danger, as reported by G Captain.
The Australia Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) led a multinational search effort from 16-20 May to locate the crew of the Chinese fishing vessel Lu Peng Yuan Yu 028. They collaborated with the Chinese Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre, Indian and Sri Lankan search and rescue agencies, as well as authorities in the Maldives and Diego Garcia. The search area was a remote part of the Indian Ocean, approximately 5,000 km northwest of Perth and closer to Sri Lanka than Australia. Despite extreme weather conditions caused by Tropical Cyclone Fabian, involving 120km/h winds and 7-meter seas, the search involved seven merchant ships and a fishing vessel from six Flag States. The bulk carriers Navios Taurus (Panama) and Corona Zenith (Japan) were among the ships that initially responded to the distress call, but unfortunately, no survivors were found at the scene where the upturned hull of the fishing vessel was located.
Search operation on
During the subsequent three days, additional bulk carriers including Yuan Fu Hai (Singapore), Ming De (Hong Kong), MSXT Athena (Marshall Islands), SDTR Faith (Marshall Islands), and Swift Hangzhou (Liberia) joined the search operation. They played a crucial role in expanding the search area and actively looked for life rafts or any signs of life. Another Chinese fishing vessel, Lu Peng Yuan Yu 018, which was a sister ship of the capsized vessel, also contributed significantly to the search efforts. The Australia Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) expressed gratitude to the captains and crews of these vessels for their unwavering dedication. This incident underscored the indispensable assistance provided by commercial shipping in ensuring the effectiveness of the international maritime search and rescue system.
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Source: G Captain