A collision with 3,500-dwt chemical tanker Ulsan Pioneer has sunk 6,800-dwt roro Byakko off the coast of Japan, and a search is underway for three missing seafarers from the sunken vessel
2016-built chemical tanker Ulsan Pioneer was sailing in the Seto Inland Sea in Japan when the collision occurred with roro Byakko just before midnight local time on 27 May 2021, according to the Japanese Coast Guard.
As a result of the collision, three seafarers are missing from 2020-built Byakko, a statement from the regional coast guard office said.
"The capsized ship (cargo ship) that [exited] near the west exit of the Kurushima Strait route sank (34-09-30N 132-54-14E). Nine crew members have been rescued, but three are missing," the statement said.
Japanese authorities have initiated a search and rescue operation, with the coast guard launching 14 vessels and three aircraft, according to international news reports.
Byakko sank approximately three hours after the collision, the coast guard said, and local media has reported that the vessel’s captain, chief engineer and second engineer are missing.
2020-built Byakko is operated by Japanese shipping company Prince Kaiun.
Ulsan Pioneer reportedly sustained damage to the bulbous bow and topsides but no injuries to the crew.
Japanese authorities said no leaks or floating debris had been reported from the site of the collision.
The chemical tanker is operated by Heung-A Shipping of South Korea, a shipping company specialising in intra-Asia trades.
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