Last update 1/9/2012 3:02:24 PM (GMT+7)

Vietnam asks the US to help search for the missing
The Vietnam Maritime Search & Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) has asked the US Coast Guard to keep it updated on continuing efforts to search for the 22 missing sailors of Vinalines Queen, said MRCC Director General Nguyen Anh Vu.

MRCC has also asked the US side for assistance in contacting all vessels operating in the area where Vinalines Queen sank to detect any objects floating on the sea.

On account of their failure to find any traces of the missing sailors and the sunken ship, the Japanese coast guard recently decided to halt search efforts.

Dau Ngoc Hung, the survivor of the sinking, said that before the ship sank, the sailor had put on lifejackets and special attire to keep their body temperature.

Based on this information, the Japanese coast guard believed that if the sailors had survived, they would have drifted to one of the coral islands in the Luzon region.

However, the nearest island to the location of the distressed ship is 167km away.

Developments of Vinalines Queen case

The Vinalines Queen with 23 sailors transported 54,400 tons of Nickel ore from Indonesia to China, in normal technical conditions.

At 5.48am, December 25, the ship reported to be leaned by 20 degree to the left in strong wind, without clear reason. The captain changed the direction to a safe area near the Philippines.

One hour later, the ship reported to be leaned by 18 degree to the left and it was running to the shore of Philippines. After that it lost contact with the mainland.

According to the only survival, Dau Ngoc Hung, the ship was sunken several minutes later due to rough waves and lean.

Information about the lost ship was released on the afternoon of December 26. Taiwanese sent rescue workers twice to the site of accident to but they failed to work because of strong wind and waves.

On the afternoon of December 27, the Japanese Coastal Guarding Agency discovered oil streaks near the site where the Vinalines Queen reported the last time.

On the morning of December 28, helicopters of the Japanese Coastal Guarding Agency flew for over three over this area but they only saw oil streaks.

On December 29, search by helicopter stopped. Many experts said that the ship was sunken due to a huge amount of nickel ore absorbing the sea water and causing an imbalance for the ship in bad weather.

In the morning of December 30, sailor Dau Ngoc Hung was rescued by a British vessel. 22 other sailors are still missing.

Hung returned to Vietnam on January 4.