Vessel sinks off Singapore, 2 missing


SINGAPORE: Three passing merchant vessels rescued 11 people from a vessel which had sunk in the South China Sea within Singapore’s maritime search and rescue region today.

In a statement, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said it was informed of the rescue at 3.50pm.

“According to the survivors, there were 13 crew on board the sunken vessel. Two people are still unaccounted for,” it said.

MPA said it had been making navigational broadcasts to vessels in the vicinity to report any sighting of persons overboard and to navigate in the area with caution.

The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) had also deployed one Super Puma helicopter and one Fokker-50 maritime patrol aircraft to support the search and rescue operation, it said.

It added that the RSAF was also coordinating the operation with Malaysian and Indonesian authorities.

Meanwhile, the Today news portal reported that the vessel had sunk more than 85km from Pedra Branca.

The nearest point of land from the location was Tanjung Sedili in Kota Tinggi, Johor, it said.

It added that the survivors who were taken on board the three merchant vessels were understood to be Vietnamese.

It said one of the vessels was expected to reach Singapore soon.

The MPA was unable to determine the flag or type of the sunken vessel, it added.