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Search for 22 missing crew of sunken vessel called off

Update: January, 10/2012 - 09:57

HA NOI — Viet Nam Maritime Search and Rescue Co-ordination Centre would temporarily end the search for 22 missing crew of the sunken cargo vessel Vinalines Queen if there were no more signs to follow, said the centre's General Director Nguyen Anh Vu.

Vu said Japan and the Philippines had no plans to continue their specialised rescue plane and ship search without new information about the sunken vessel. Their search and rescue forces, along with those of China and Viet Nam, asked other vessels to strengthen their watch on the sea. If any sign was found, they were asked to send that information to the search and rescue forces.

Vinalines Queen cargo vessel, which was transporting 54,000 tonnes of nickel ore to China from Indonesia, sank two weeks ago. Only one sailor has been found alive since the incident.

Deputy General Director of Viet Nam National Shipping Lines Le Anh Son said Vinalines had a US$27 million insurance policy on the ship and accident insurance of $25,000-40,000 for each sailor.

Diplomats involved

The Foreign Ministry has urged the Thai and Cambodian embassies in Ha Noi to continue the search for 10 missing Vietnamese fishermen whose boat was sunk after being hit by a boat in Thailand.

The CM 99219 TS with 11 members on board left port on Monday last week and lost contact on Saturday.

Its captain Nguyen Van Hieu said his boat was hit by a foreign boat while operating offshore.

He was rescued by another fishing boat but did not know the situation of the remaining 10 fishermen.

The ministry instructed Vietnamese diplomats in Thailand and Cambodia to work with relevant ministries and agencies there to sift through information and continue the search. — VNS

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