NO: DELENG / 2017 / 70663
official media partner of national maritime foundation
Chinese Bulker Crew Saved by Russian Ferry from Ice Flows
By Sea and Coast | 25/02/2023
A Chinese crew was assisted by a Russian icebreaker ferry after they were compelled to leave their crippled bulker. Despite the crew being successfully evacuated and transported to the adjacent port of Vanino, according to Russian emergency services, temperatures were only around zero degrees Fahrenheit.
According to reports, the bulk carrier Yong Xing 56 (33600 dwt) was waiting to move on to the coal terminal while drifting in the ice flows of the Tatar Strait with other ships. The ship had been in ballast since February 19 while it waited to deliver an export shipment of coal that had been lying off the port.
The bulker, which had 21 crew members on board, reportedly made a distress call to the marine services at 20:30 on February 23 asking for help, claiming that it had sustained hull damage and was leaking water close to the number one hold.
SASCO dispatched the 1,600 gross tonne Sakhalin-8 ferry to offer aid. They reported that the bulker's crew had left the ship and was on the iceberg with two rafts visible in the water when it arrived in the area roughly an hour after the appeal for help. The ferry's pilot ladder allowed the Chinese crew members to board.
According to Russian officials, the crew was "cold, exhausted, and anxious" when they were confined to the ferry's passenger rooms. They were transported to the harbor of Vanino, some 42 miles away, and lodged there.
The ferry crew would be awarded for their professionalism, the director general of the Sakhalin Shipping Company (SASCO) told a local media. He praised them for acting swiftly during the rescue effort.
The bulker was taken into custody by the rescue ship Otto Schmidt. According to the most recent reports, the bulker was lowered by the bow but was still stable and not in immediate danger. There was no oil release.