One Is Still Missing After Four Crew Members Fell Off a Cargo Ship In The Taiwan Strait

October 20, 2022 

Four crew members of a 31,236-ton cargo ship that was off the coast of Yunlin County on October 17 reportedly went missing, prompting the Taiwan coast guard and the National Airborne Service Corps to launch an extensive sea and air hunt for the missing Vietnamese national.

At nearly 6:00 pm on Monday, the National Coast Guard Administration notified the Central Taiwan Maritime Affairs Center of the Maritime and Port Bureau. Around 5:30 p.m., west of Mailiao Township, the bulk carrier VIMC SUNRISE was attempting to anchor when four of its crewmen reportedly fell into the ocean.

Three crew members were reportedly hauled back into the cargo ship after some of the 22-member crew members tossed some lifebuoys into the water. According to reports, one crew member had a severely broken arm, while two crew members shattered their legs. The fourth person, the ship’s chief mate, was still unaccounted for.

The National Airborne Service Corps also sent out a chopper, while the coast guard chose to send out two patrol boats. Due to exceptionally strong winds with gusts reaching as high as 11 on the Beaufort scale, the helicopter was forced to turn around. The search mission was also impeded by several five-meter swells.

The captain of the freighter made the decision to steer the ship south in order to obtain wounded crew members’ medical treatment, and at around 5:00 am on October 18, the ship arrived at the Port of Kaohsiung.

The crew member allegedly went missing again after the air search was halted in the morning. The strong northeasterly monsoon winds and Tropical Storm Nesat in the South China Sea are currently having a negative impact on the ocean and weather patterns in the Taiwan Strait.

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