Posted on September 23, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
The Sierra Leone-flagged Cargo Vessel, JI SHUN developed a list and began to capsize during the early morning hours of September the 19th while off the coast of Taiwan.
The incident occurred at approximately 05:00 am in the morning, in the waters off Keelung, some 50 nautical miles northwest of Cape Fugui.
The ship, which had originally sailed from China, had started to take on water; it proceeded to develop a heavy starboard list and was in danger of capsizing.
In response, the Master of the vessel issued an immediate distress call and gave the order for the crew to abandon ship.
In the panic that ensued following the order, at least two crew members jumped overboard.
Thankfully, the National Search and Rescue Command Centre for Taiwan received the message and proceeded to notify the Ministry of National Defence (MND) and the National Airborne Service Corps, who dispatched a number of helicopters and Coast Guard vessels to the area.
At approximately 07:00 am, the two crew members who had jumped overboard were successfully rescued via airlift and were rushed to the hospital.
One of the seafarers had been suffering from a severe case of hypothermia, while the other showed no visible injuries.
The remaining 11 crewmen were successfully airlifted by an MND helicopter. At the time of the incident, the vessel was crewed by 13 seafarers, all of which are Myanmar nationals.
Before abandoning the vessel, the Captain had failed to turn off the main engine, and so the ship continued under its own power on a north-eastern course.
The Taiwanese Coast Guard Vessel, CG132 Taoyuan, continued to follow the ghost ship so as to monitor the situation and prevent any possible collisions.
In the days that followed, the Ji Shun, which had run out of fuel by September the 20th, began to drift off the coast of Taiwan.
Thankfully, the shipowners managed to hire a tug, which brought the heavily listing vessel to the port of Kaohsiung at approximately 03:00 pm on September the 22nd.