On 12th July 2022, the Chang He General Cargo, a commercial vessel, sunk in the Indian Ocean, while sailing from Shanghai, China to Misrata, Libya with 12 crew members on board.
The vessel sank in position 06 50 N / 052 38 E forcing 10 crew members to evacuate into their survival crafts (1 lifeboat and 2 life rafts), while 2 others jumped into the water wearing life jackets.
MV Chang He encountered rough weather leading to its steel cargo in the hold shifting and breaking free thereby damaging and puncturing the ship’s hull. The water ingress into the vessel could not be managed through pumping.
The Regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (RMRCC) in Mombasa received a MAYDAY ALERT from Nairobi RCC which had been shared MRCC Greece on 14/2031HRS, over the unfortunate incident. An e-mail from Falcon Marine Services with the vessel’s details were shared as below: –
VESSELS NAME: MV CHANG HE
IMO NO: 8865494
CALL SIGN: 9LU2559
POSITION: 06 51 N / 052 39 E
NO. OF CREW: 12 PERSONS
On 13th July 2022, the RMRCC also informed Somalia National Maritime Information Sharing Center (NMISC) requesting immediate response to rescue the 12 crew onboard.
Owner: Orient Nevin International Co.
Port of Loading: Shanghai, China
Port Of Discharge: Misrata, Libya
Last Port of Call: Maldives (For Provision and fuel)
Agent details As per survivors owners is (P.I.C Mr. Walid / Ph. no: +30 6936047406)
Somali Maritime Police Unit sent 2 boats from Hobyo district to search of the crew.
The Regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Center (RMRCC) in collaboration with the Somalia National Maritime Information Sharing Center (NMISC) coordinated and assigned MV Maersk Brooklyn for the Search and Rescue (SAR) operation and MV. Hafnia Beijing to assist.
Maersk Brooklyn arrived in position 06 51N 052 29E on 14th July at 0232Hrs UTC and recovered crew in a life raft with 5 persons.
SAR operation continued leading to the recovery of another 5 crew in position 07 00.8 N 052 50.4 E at 0402HRS UTC.
There are still 2 crew members not recovered and not sighted. A message was sent to vessels in the vicinity through the NAVAREA broadcast station.