Twenty-six crewmembers remain unaccounted for from an offshore wind installation vessel that snapped in two and sank after being caught near the centre of a typhoon in the South China Sea on Saturday.
The vessel, Fujing 001, with a crew of 30 on board, was hit by Typhoon Chaba offshore Yangjiang city in Guangdong province, about 160 nautical miles southwest of Hong Kong at 3.50 hrs Beijing time.
According to Guangdong Maritime Search and Rescue Centre, the vessel had a dragging anchor and drifted when the anchor chains were broken by the typhoon at an anchorage offshore Yangjiang. The ship’s location recorded wind speeds of 144 kph and waves that were 10 m high.
The Hong Kong Government Flying Service (GFS) sent two fixed-wing aircraft and four helicopters to assist several search and rescue vessels and managed to save three people on Saturday.
GFS widened the search zone on Sunday dispatching additional resources, but warned that given the time since the crew went missing as well as previous experience, the chances of finding them were very slim in such challenging weather conditions. One more crewmember was rescued in the early Monday morning, according to the Guangdong Maritime Search and Rescue Center.