The Vietnam Maritime Rescue Cooperation Center (VN MRRC) said that as of 6:00am o December 27th, Filipino authorities had used a rescue helicopter to search for the ship in the area where the ship sent its final signal before losing contact, but they have found nothing. As of 9:00am the same day, Japan’s Coast Guard mobilized an airplane to the scene, but all the plane’s crew saw were oil slicks.
At 2:00pm, the two countries’ rescue teams halted their search for the ship.
According to Nguyen Anh Vu, general director of VN MRRC, MRRC would continue to ask for assistance from Japan, the Philippines, and Taiwan in finding the ship and its 23 crew members, while Vietnam’s Coastal Zone Information System is also sending signals to ask means of transport operating in the area to search for the ship.
Vu added that Vietnam has yet to finalize a plan for search and rescue operations aimed at the ship because Japan and the Philippines have a high capacity for sea rescue.
According to senior officials from Vinalines Shipping Company, the owner of Vinalines Queen, the company is now in cooperation with search and rescue centers in the region to seek information about the ship.
Nguyen Vu Tu, Vietnamese ambassador to the Philippines, told Tuoi Tre over the phone that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has asked the Filipino Embassy in Hanoi for help, and concurrently instructed the Vietnamese embassy in the Philippines to ask for assistance from local authorities.
According to VN MRRC, the Vinalines Queen cargo ship, with 23 crew members on board, went missing in the Philippine Sea on December 25th while carrying 54,400 tons of Nikel ore from Indonesia’s Morowali port to Ningde port in China.
According to Vinalines Shipping, the ship went missing at 7am upon reaching the area northeast of Luzon Island, in the Philippines. Before that, the ship had sent a signal to the company saying it was listing at an 18 degree incline.