Twelve sailors are missing after Chinese general cargo ship Xiang Zhou sank at Yangtze River estuary off Nantong. According to the Shanghai Maritime Rescue Center the vessel capsized in collision accident on 13 nautical miles off Chinese coast during a voyage from Nantong to Busan (South Korea). The nearby ships saw the accident and succeeded to rescue two seamen, but another twelve were reported as missing, probably being trapped inside the wreck. The accident was reported to local authorities and was initiated large scale-search and rescue operations for the missing sailors. The nearby ships were also informed to be cautious around the wreck site.
Shanghai Maritime Search and Rescue Center arranged five professional rescue ships, 10 past merchant ships and two emergency sweepers to be deployed at the scene of the accident and to participate in search and rescue operations.
The cause of the accident remains unclear and investigations are underway, but according to preliminary information the ship was engaged in collision and suffers large water flow, which capsized her in a few minutes. The evidence seamen from nearby vessels confirmed such scenario, but the second participants is not revealed.
The general cargo ship Xiang Zhou (IMO: 8747147) has overall length of 96.90 m, moulded beam of 16.00 m and maximum draft of 6.50 m. The deadweight of the vessel is 6,033 DWT and the gross tonnage is 2,971 GRT. The freighter was built in 2009 by Hang Chang Shipbuilding in Linhai, China. The general cargo ship Xiang Zhou is operating under the flag of Kiribati, owned by Ningbo-based Guo FX and managed by Ningbo Shanglun Shipmanagement.