\'Unsinkable\' fishing trawler mysteriously sinks in 15 minutes in calm seas

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'Unsinkable' fishing trawler mysteriously sinks in 15 minutes in calm seas

The operator of a fishing ship is "shell-shocked" after three crew died and another three disappeared and are presumed dead in waters off New Zealand.

Christchurch-based Southern Storm Fishing says the 38-year-old Korean vessel Oyang 70, which sank in calm conditions 400 nautical miles east of Dunedin about 4.40am yesterday, was safe and fit to be at sea.

The fishing industry says it is struggling to understand how a big factory ship sank in relatively calm conditions in the Southern Ocean, killing at least three, and probably six, crew members. These ships are designed for the tough Southern ocean weather conditions, they just don't sink.

The 82-metre Oyang 70 was apparently hauling in fishing gear early yesterday morning when it turned over and sank within 10 minutes. It was near other fishing trawlers who didn't experience anything unusual at the time.

Forty-five crew made it into liferafts as the ship sank in just 15 minutes and were rescued by a Talleys fishing vessel, the Amaltal Atlantis.

The bodies of three Indonesian crew of the Oyang 70, aged 38, 35 and 25, were recovered.

The 82m-long Oyang 70 is owned by Korean company Sajo Oyang Corporation and crewed by Koreans, Indonesians and Filipinos, but is chartered by Southern Storm Fishing.

Hyun Gwan Choi, a Southern Storm director, was too upset to talk to the Herald. But his spokeswoman, Michele Chapman, said he was deeply saddened by what had happened.

The Oyang 70 was seaworthy and had all the necessary safety certifications, she said.

The Maritime Union of New Zealand said initial reports that the vessel had capsized in good weather were "extremely disturbing". The union would offer its help to establish why it sank, said general secretary Joe Fleetwood.

 http://www.nzherald.co.nz/n...
 http://www.stuff.co.nz/nati...

oyang-70-sank.jpg - 30.63kb
By netchicken: posted on 19-8-2010








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