BÀ RỊA-VŨNG TÀU — The body of the last sailor aboard the Hải Thành 26-BLC cargo ship that sank off the coast of southern Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu province was found on Saturday.
According to Major General Lê Mạnh Tiến, Deputy Chief of Office of the National Committee for Search and Rescue, divers found the victim stuck in the vessel which had 11 crewmen. Nine of them were killed during the accident and all the bodies have been recovered.
The names of the victims were defined before they were brought ashore and handed over to their families in the afternoon of Saturday, he said.
Tiến added that rescue forces were working to shield fuel holds of the vessel to prevent oil spills, while authorities were examining the shipwreck to investigate the cause of the accident.
Earlier at about 4.37am on March 28, the Việt Nam Maritime Search and Rescue Co-ordination Centre received emergency rescue signal from the Hải Thành 26, some 44 nautical miles east of Vũng Tàu City in Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province.
The centre immediately asked the Petrolimex 14 – another vessel sailing some five nautical miles near the signal site – to come to the area. At the same time, the centre also informed two other vessels – SAR413 and SAR 272 – to reach the area to support the rescue.
Arriving at the area, Petrolimex 14 found a breeches-buoy with two crewmen on board. Both of them were rescued.
According to Hoàng Tiến Khôi, one of the two crewmen rescued by the Petrolimex 14, the Hải Thành 26 – a cargo ship with some 3,000-tonne transport capacity – sank after colliding with another cargo ship.
The accident occurred when the cargo ship carrying clinker was sailing from northern Hải Phòng City to southern Cần Thơ City, Khôi said.