12 dead, 14 missing after offshore construction ship sinks in typhoon-hit waters off southern China

Authorities in China report that 12 people are confirmed dead while 14 others have gone missing after an offshore construction vessel broke in two and sank off the country’s southern coast on Saturday, July 2.

The locally-registered windfarm construction vessel Fu Jing 001 floundered in the waters 28 nautical miles off Yangjiang in Guangdong province as Typhoon Chaba swept through the area in the early morning (local time) of Saturday.

The crew sent out a distress signal at 03:50, after which a number of government- and civilian-operated vessels and aircraft from mainland China and Hong Kong diverted to the area to conduct search and rescue (SAR) operations.

The construction vessel broke apart and slipped beneath the waves a little over three hours later at around 07:00, forcing the entire crew of 30 to don lifejackets and abandon ship.

Only four survivors and 12 deceased individuals among Fu Jing 001‘s crew have been found as of Monday, July 4. Authorities said some of the deceased were recovered from the water over 50 nautical miles southwest of the vessel’s last reported position.

The effort to locate the 14 missing crewmembers has since expanded to cover an area of over 700 square nautical miles.

SAR operations were repeatedly hampered by the typhoon, which had brought maximum sustained wind speeds of up to 60 knots and wave heights approaching 10 metres.

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