Ship gone without a trace
The Vinalines Queen went missing on December 25, with Dau Ngoc Hung, 31, being the only known survivor of the 23-man crew. The rest have been have not been found, and are presumed dead.
In order to intensify search efforts, Vietnam has asked for help from regional countries. Still, no more information about the wreck has been obtained.
Recently, the Vietnam Maritime Search and Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) got approval to hire foreign ships for the search. Japan, however, the first country that received the request, responded that they have no ship to lease this purpose.
Nguyen Anh Vu, General Director of Vietnam MRCC, said, “After Taiwan halted its search and Japan confirmed that they have no ships for lease, the Vietnamese ambassador in the Philippines made a statement to the effect that officials of Vinalines Shipping Company, the ship’s owner, a subsidiary of Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines), are negotiating with a rescue firm in the Philippines to hire ships.”
According to Vu, the Philippines has agreed to assign helicopters to join in the search missions, but unfavourable weather has caused delays.
Vinalines said, on December 2, that the company has planned to honour any individuals or organisations who are involved in finding the ship with awards.
Meanwhile, families and relatives of crew members are wondering why Vinalines did not organise a coordinated search operation earlier.