Shipwreck rescue a complicated, lengthy process

November, 11/2017 - 09:00

Although Typhoon Damrey has been calm for a week, ten shipwrecks remain under the Quy Nhơn sea as ship owners struggle to rescue them.

A ship beached by storm Damrey on Quy Hoà Beach, Quy Nhơn Province. - VNA/VNS Photo Nguyên Linh
Viet Nam News

QUY NHƠN – Although Typhoon Damrey has been calm for a week, ten shipwrecks remain under the Quy Nhơn sea as ship owners struggle to rescue them.

On Thursday morning, 26 divers mobilised by the Ministry of Defence and Việt Nam People’s Navy collaborated to conduct a search and rescue operation. The forces approached Jupiter, one of the ten shipwrecks, trying to find stuck cadavers. Due to bad weather, however, the mission was not completed.

Nguyễn Thanh Thắng, owner of Jupiter, said that the ship was flipped horizontally with seven missing crew members. Only two bodies were found.

“We prioritise human life,” he said. “Searching for missing crew members is the foremost mission before taking further steps.”

On the same day, Hồ Quốc Dũng, head of Bình Định Province People’s Committee, told Tiền Phong (Vanguard) newspaper that marine salvage would be conducted by ship owners and Quy Nhơn Port Authority under the monitoring of the People’s Committee. The process also involves insurance agencies which, except for Bảo Việt Company, have not yet participated.

Lê Mạnh Tiến, deputy head of staff of Việt Nam National Committee for Search and Rescue, said that Việt Nam Maritime Administration asked ship owners to organise ship salvage as soon as possible. “The process needs to be conducted carefully to avoid oil leak. They have to unload ships and pump oil out before carrying marine salvage,” he added.

Meanwhile, Nguyễn Công Khoa, 46, owner of Nam Khánh 2 ship, said that he was under huge pressure to salvage the ship.

“My ship sank near outer buoys No.5 and 6 and was broken into three pieces. More than VNĐ20 billion (US$880,000)... all gone. Therefore, immediate marine salvage is nearly impossible since we have to seek reliable professionals at affordable prices,” he said.

Additionally, Nguyễn Điền, representative of Biển Bắc 16 ship, said that they needed to collaborate with insurance agencies to handle the case. “We have worked with the insurance agency and contractors to draw up the plan. However, we are under pressure from the local authority who have asked us to quickly operate the salvage. Until now, no service has met our requirements,” he added.

Early this week, on Tuesday, Trần Hồng Hà, Natural Resources and Environment Minister, requested ship owners sign contracts with Oil Spill Response Centre for proper solutions. Moreover, he called for parties involved to keep salvage costs as low as possible. After investigation, a detailed rescue plan should be proposed to Bình Định Province People’s Committee, he said. Central agencies would collaborate with local authorities to monitor the process.

The provincial People’s Committee on Wednesday released a document to criticise Quy Nhơn Port Authority officials for their inadequate responses to Damrey and ask them to quickly report the causes of shipwrecks. – VNS