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Bulk Jupiter sinking 'happened very fast'

Bulk Jupiter sinking 'happened very fast'
The Bulk Jupiter listed and sank in minutes according to the sole survivor of the fatal casualty that took place off Vietnam in on 2 January.

In a statement the vessel’s owners Gearbulk said that together with crewing agents Magsaysay said they acknowledged there were many unanswered questions and a need for more information over the sinking.

“What we do know is based on the statement made by the cook. It happened very fast,” the company said.

“From the general alarm sounding in the early morning hours of January 2nd, and abandon ship was heard on the intercom, it took only minutes before the vessel had developed a heavy list to starboard. The cook made his way starboard and jumped overboard. The vessel sank shortly thereafter.”

The cook, Angelito Rojas, was rescued after 8 – 9 hours and the bodies of two other crew men recovered. Apart from no other bodies or wreckage has been found.

The Vietnamese MRCC has now scaled down its search efforts but Gearbulk said it would continue to allocate vessels in the area to search through the projected drift pattern.

“This drift pattern has now extended well into Malaysian waters, and an area with a number of offshore installations and offshore support vessels. Malaysian MRCC has been kindly requested by Gearbulk to notify installations/vessels in the area to maintain a sharp lookout,” it said.

The Bahamas Maritime Authority is to launch an investigation into the sinking and Vietnam and the Philippines have been invited to join.

Much of the focus since the accident has been on its cargo of bauxite loaded in Kuantan, Malaysia and this had undergone liquefaction, where sloshing of the cargo can lead to the sudden loss of the vessel.

“Gearbulk together with NHC (H&M) and Britannia (P&I) have contracted external experts to investigate the cargo properties versus the cargo manifest, and the corresponding liquefaction risk. Until the report is at hand Gearbulk has stopped taking bauxite cargo,” the company said.