Collision of Maltese cargo bulker with Chinese fishing vessel leaves two dead and 17 missing

8 May 2016 (Last Updated May 8th, 2016 18:30)

A total of 17 people are declared missing and two people dead after a Chinese fishing boat collided with a Maltese cargo ship and sank in the East China Sea.

A total of 17 people are declared missing and two people dead after a Chinese fishing boat collided with a Maltese cargo ship and sank in the East China Sea.

The Chinese fishing vessel, named Lu Rong Yu 58398, had 19 people on-board when it was rammed by Maltese cargo ship, the Catalina 148km east of Ningbo, Zhejiang province, reported chinadaily.com.

Two crew members were saved by a fishing boat nearby, but later died.

"After the collision, the fishing vessel started listing and eventually sank, while the bulk carrier sailed away."

Maritime authorities of China and the Donghai Fleet of the Chinese Havy have been deployed for search-and-rescue missions.

The operations have retrieved floating life jackets and mattresses; however they could not trace the crew members.

Initial reports of the investigation stated that after the collision, the fishing vessel started listing and eventually sank, while the bulk carrier sailed away, reported Worldmaritimenews.

The bulker was en route to Beilun, China from Lianyungang.

The Malta-flagged bulker has reportedly been grounded and docked at Zhoushan, and its crew comprising 20 people have been detained in Ningbo.

The search operation conducted by six Chinese Navy ships is still underway to locate the 17 missing crew at the accident site, alongside coast guard vessels and fishing boats, reported Sputniknews.