Chinese bulk carrier sinks through ice off Russia

A Chinese bulk carrier has sunk in the Strait of Tartary near the Russian port city of Vanino after being damaged in a collision with strong ice currents.

The ship, Yong Xin 56, had been trapped in the ice since February 19 and had made an emergency call on February 23, prompting a rescue operation. Reports indicate that the 33,000 DWT vessel was carrying a cargo of alumina.

All 21 crew members abandoned ship and were rescued by a Russian ferry and taken to Vonino.

“The crew of 21 citizens of the People’s Republic of China climbed onto the ice and were then taken aboard an approaching ship,” Russia’s Federal Maritime and River Navigation Agency told the state-run TASS press service on Wednesday.

Photo: RosMorRechFlot

Salvage teams attempted to seal a hole in the ship and control water ingress, but flooding continued and it was decided to remove the pumps and cut the mooring lines.

The ship sank on March 1 and an investigation has been launched.

There were no crew injuries.

The Yong Xin 56 was built in 2008 and sails under the Chinese flag.

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