Wednesday, January 22, 2014

7,000 TEU Containership Rescues Crew of Ill Fated Tanker

Ship Founders off Vietnamese Coast but Help is at Hand
Shipping News Feature

VIETNAM – The crew of the 3,884 dwt asphalt/bitumen tanker Bitu Gulf have been rescued after the vessel foundered about 42 nautical miles southeast of Phan Rang, Vietnam, in the South China Sea, on Monday January 20. Fortunately en route from Shekou, China to Tanjung Pelepas, Malaysia, Evergreen Line's 7,000+ TEU containership Ever Summit received the distress call from the Bitu Gulf at 14:00 and subsequently made best speed to the location of the distressed vessel. At around 16:30, the Ever Summit found the lifeboat of the Bitu Gulf and went to work to rescue all sixteen Indian seafarers of the tanker.

The Panamanian flagged Bitu Gulf has had a rather troublesome few years, in 2010 under the name Asphalt Venture, she was held by Somali pirates for 199 days with seven of her crew yet to be released. In this case the crew were considerably luckier and the rescued seafarers received care on board Ever Summit as the ship continued its voyage to Tanjung Pelepas. Evergreen notified the owner of Bitu Gulf, Lilly Maritime Pvt. Ltd, to take responsibility for their crew in Tanjung Pelepas and arrange their repatriation. The 23 year old tanker was carrying bitumen at the time of her demise.

Photo caption: Ever Summit's Captain Horng, Tsong-Been (middle) together with the rescued Indian seafarers