Six missing after collision of VLCC Australis and fishing ship in East China Sea

VLCC AustralisThe very large crude carrier Australis collided and sunk the Chinese fishing vessel Zhelingyou 91002 in East China Sea on 50 nautical miles south off Zhoushan. The tanker left Port of Ningbo en route to Singapore, when her route was crossed by poor marked fishing ship in moderate sea and bad visibility. The tanker had no time to maneuver and avoid collision, as duty officer saw the small vessel in very last moment. The very large crude carrier Australis collided with the fishing ship, which caused capsizing and sinking of Zhelingyou 91002. All the six crew from the Chinese fishing vessel went missing. The local authorities organized large scale search and rescue operation, engaging navy ships, helicopters and other merchant ships. Still there is no information about found fishermen or bodied.

A group of divers were sent to the wreck of the fishing ship to look for the bodies and to investigation the accident. The VLCC Australis was detained at anchorage off Wenzhou during the further investigation and taking witness evidences. The situation around the collision is not clear and the local authorities are considering all scenarios for the responsibilities of the seafarers.

The oil tanker Australis (IMO: 9284946) has overall length of 329.00 m, moulded beam of 60.00 m and maximum draft of 15.00 m. The deadweight of the crude carrier is 299,095 DWT and the gross tonnage is 156,914 GRT. The tanker Australis is operating under the flag of Greece and was built in 2003 by JPU Ariake Shipyard in Kumamoto, Japan. The owner and operator of the vessel is Greek operator Chandris Hellas.