A ship capsize has left 10 seafarers missing off Taiwan and a fire on a car carrier leaves five missing in the Pacific Ocean.
Search and rescue operations were launched on 2 January after general cargo ship, London, turned over in bad weather, around 80 nautical miles off Pengjia islet, north of Taiwan.
London was sailing with a crew of 15 as it planned to call at Taichung port in Taiwan for bunkering. It was then due to resume its voyage from Kaohsiung, Taiwan to Busan, South Korea. After its capsize, five seafarers were rescued by fishing vessels in the vicinity. However, 10 are yet to be rescued and remain missing.
Also on 2 January, and in Taiwan, another general cargo ship started drifting following equipment failure. Crew on CSE Wisdon Express were unable to manoeuvre the vessel after problems with its rudder control system, around 40 nautical miles south of Hualien Port.
According to Taiwan Maritime Authorities, a tug was sent to assist and safely towed the stricken vessel to Hualien Port. CSE Wisdon Express was en route from Kaohsiung to Funabashi, Japan.
In the Pacific, the US Coast Guard (USCG) co-ordinated a search and rescue operation following a major fire on car carrier Sincerity Ace. On 2 January, 16 seafarers, of a crew of 21 that abandoned ship, were rescued by nearby merchant ships, halfway between Japan and Hawaii.
However, five mariners remain missing as the USCG sent more search assets to the incident site. Joint Rescue Coordination Centres (JRCC) in Honolulu, Hawaii, and in Japan initially received reports of the fire that engulfed Sincerity Ace on 31 December 2018. The ship was disabled and started to drift.
Also in the Pacific, the USCG co-ordinated rescue operations after a fish carrier ran aground on 2 January.
Ou Ya Leng 6 grounded, reportedly at full speed, on to Atoll Taka in the Marshall Islands, causing hull damage and water ingress, according to Fleetmon. Its crew of 24 boarded a lifeboat and were able to reach safety. As of 3 January, there was no salvage plan for removing this 2015-built, Chinese-flagged ship from the atoll.
There were multiple maritime incidents in southeast Asia at the end of December. A product tanker ran into trouble in the South China Sea on 29 December, leading to four injured seafarers. They were hurt during an unspecified work accident on White Shark as it was sailing in Vietnamese waters from an oil terminal in Malaysia.
On 28 December, two ferries collided in the Bali Strait, Indonesia. According to local reports, ferry Dharma Kosala struck moored ferry KMP Munic on the approaches to Banyuwangi, Java.
Also on 28 December, general cargo ship Yi Cheng 1 crashed into a small island north of Quanzhou, Fujian Province, China. This ship was anchored during adverse weather, but broke its moorings and drifted into the island. All 13 crew on board managed to escape and were evacuated by helicopter.
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