Bulker suspected in hit-and-run that left six fishermen missing off Taiwan

Sasebo Glory (Photo: MarineTraffic.com/Sasebo Artist)

Authorities in Taiwan have reason to believe that a collision with a large commercial ship was responsible for the sinking of a fishing boat off the country’s east coast earlier this month.

The Cypriot-flagged bulk carrier Sasebo Glory was en route from Zhangjiagang to San Lorenzo, Argentina, when it allegedly struck the five-metre-long Quan Yi Cai No. 1 at around 01:00 local time on August 3.

No witnesses have reported actually seeing the collision. However, local authorities claimed Quan Yi Cai No. 1‘s AIS signal suddenly got lost at around the same time that Sasebo Glory‘s own AIS track showed it passing near the fishing vessel’s last known position.

The authorities added that the bulk carrier did not stop and instead continued sailing, its ETA at San Lorenzo set at 19:00 UTC on September 10.

The initial traces of evidence from the incident were not found until 21:00 of August 6, when a Japan Coast Guard ship patrolling near the site of the collision came across what appeared to be two drifting halves of the same vessel.

The coast guard crew also found a nearby life vest with the words “Yong Zai Fu,” which Taiwanese authorities later confirmed was the former name of Quan Yi Cai No. 1.

The fishing boat had originally been scheduled to return to Wushi Port in Hong Kong on August 4. No traces of its crew of six, five of whom were Indonesian nationals, have yet been found.

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