Floating ghost ship in central Vietnam likely from China: officials

By VnExpress   November 18, 2016 | 10:16 am GMT+7
Floating ghost ship in central Vietnam likely from China: officials
Local officials say this could be a fishing vessel which strayed into Vietnamese waters due to recent storms. Photo by VnExpress

The foreign vessel has raised alarms over maritime safety in the region.

Vietnamese authorities believe that an abandoned foreign steel-hull vessel recently found near the central coast is originally from China and that storms might have brought it here.

Coast guard officials have been trying to unravel the mystery of the vessel, spotted by Vietnamese fishermen around 60 nautical miles off the coast of La Gi Town, Binh Thuan Province, on Wednesday. There was no crew member aboard.

The ship, which is 50 meters long and 8.2 meters wide, was then towed to La Gi and anchored around two miles off the coast for fear of possible contamination.

Its name is believed to be Qiong Lin Yu. Inspectors added that the word “Lingao” on the ship means that it was likely registered in Lingao County, Hainan Province in China. Some documents in Chinese were also found.

Local officials said this could be a fishing vessel which strayed into Vietnamese waters due to recent storms in late October.

"It is likely that the ship is from Lingao District, Hainan Province, China," an official said. "There's no doubt that it has been long out of operation as all valuable parts were removed. We have reason to doubt that storms have caused the ship to drift into our waters.” There was also no fuel in the tank.

Local authorities have ruled out the possibility of hijacking, saying there's no sign of violent attacks such as bullet holes or blood stains.

The discovery of the ship has again raised alarms over maritime safety in the region.

On November 12, Vietnam issued a safety warning to vessels traveling through the region after a Vietnamese ship was hijacked off the coast of the Philippines with six crew members aboard.

Following the incident, vessels in the region were urged to exercise extra vigilance or reroute from the area if possible.

Related news:

Floating ghost ship found by Vietnamese fishermen

Region on high alert after hijacking of Vietnamese vessel

 
 
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