Two bodies of missing crew members from wrecked Chinese fishing vessel found: Ministry of Transport
Published: May 18, 2023 08:46 PM Updated: May 18, 2023 08:40 PM
Lupeng Yuanyu 02 Photo: File

Lupeng Yuanyu 028 Photo: File

Two bodies of missing crew members had been recovered as of Thursday afternoon as China’s Ministry of Transport has been making all-out efforts to search for and salvage the Chinese deep-sea fishing vessel that capsized and was wrecked on Tuesday in the central Indian Ocean.

The wrecked fishing vessel Lupeng Yuanyu 028, owned by Shandong Province-based Penglai Jinglu Fishery, capsized and sank about 5,000 kilometers west of Perth, Australia, early on Tuesday, with 39 crew members on board missing -- 17 Chinese, 17 Indonesians and five Filipinos, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

As of 2 pm on Thursday, 10 ships including nine sent by China were participating in the search and rescue operation. 

Overcoming difficulties such as the high risk of operation at night and poor sea conditions in the area, three fishing vessels including the Ming De and Lupeng Yuanyu 087, and three naval ships, arrived on Wednesday and early Thursday morning, bringing the total number of rescue ships to nine in the area where the vessel capsized and sank, according to an official from the Transport Ministry. 

The nine ships dispatched found a few floating objects such as woven bags and plastic baskets at the spot. 

It is expected that two more ships -- the De Tian dispatched by the ministry and the Shandong Delong belonging to Shandong Shipping Corp -- will arrive at the spot on Friday afternoon and join the rescue mission. 

Apart from the Chinese ships, Australia sent three fixed-wing aircraft and India sent one fixed-wing aircraft to participate in the rescue on Wednesday. Australia will send more fixed-wing aircraft on Thursday. 

On Wednesday and early on Thursday, Transport Minister Li Xiaopeng and other officials restudied and redeployed the search and rescue mission for the capsized and sunk fishing boat. Meanwhile, the Transport Ministry kept in close communication with China’s Foreign Ministry and its Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs to strengthen coordination and send more rescue forces. 

The Chinese authorities will continue to coordinate with Australia, India and other neighboring countries to send additional search and rescue forces from their maritime search and rescue agencies, broadcast voyage warnings and assist in the search and rescue operation. 

Global Times