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Two dead, 16 Filipino seafarers missing in bulker sinking off Vietnam

Two dead, 16 Filipino seafarers missing in bulker sinking off Vietnam
Two Filipino seafarers have died and 16 others were missing after their bulk vessel sank off the coast of Vung Tau city, Vietnam, last Friday.

Only one crew had been rescued from the cargo vessel Bulk Jupiter, according to Vietnam’s department of foreign affairs.

The shipowner Gearbulk said the vessel departed Kuantan on 30 December 2014 with 19 crew members, all Filipinos.

The ship issued distress signals at late on 1 January and the alert was picked up by the Japanese Coast Guard, which immediately initiated search and rescue operations, according to a statement by Gearbulk.

A tug boat dispatched to the scene picked up one surviving seafarer and two bodies were recovered. Lifeboats, helicopters and other vessels were also involved in the search operation.

“The search and rescue operation, lead by Vietnam MRCC, Vung Tao, continues. Our focus is now on the search and rescue operation and to look after the families affected,” Gearbulk said.

Vietnamese authorities have not explained why the ship sank.