Cargo ship sinks in Taiwan strait, one presumed dead

A crew of at least 12 people reportedly abandoned ship after making a distress call early Jan. 21

(Photo from Chinese media, Search and Rescue operation for Zhongxing689)

(Photo from Chinese media, Search and Rescue operation for Zhongxing689)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – In the early morning of Jan. 21, a cargo ship reportedly sank in the Taiwan Strait.

A Chinese flagged ship, the ZhongXing 689 (中興689), sent out a distress signal at 3:30 a.m. from waters off the coast of Zhangzhou City. A Search and Rescue operation was immediately conducted by China’s Fujian Maritime Safety Administration.

The rescue operation involved SAR ships, helicopters, and employed the assistance of fishing vessels operating nearby.

Chinese media reports state there were 12 crew members, and that 11 people have been successfully rescued after abandoning the ship in distress. One person is reportedly still missing at sea, and presumed to be dead.

Some initial reports stated there were 13 crew members and two people were missing.

Marine Traffic indicates that on Jan. 17, the vessel completed delivery of a cargo shipment from Hong Kong to Shantou, on China’s southern coast.

The report from Xinde Marine News, indicates that the strong cold winds caused navigational problems, suggesting the ship may have been damaged traveling too close to a rocky shoreline.

The 98 meter long cargo ship has reportedly sunk, reports Maritime Bulletin.