Abandoned ship towed to Junk Bay

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 01 January, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 01 January, 1994, 12:00am

AN abandoned ship has been brought back to Hong Kong four days after its crew left it in the South China Sea.

The 7,300-tonne Poplar Trader was carrying 6,000 tonnes of kaolinic clay and other minerals from Hong Kong to Taiwan when it ran into difficulties 200 kilometres east of Waglan Island.

The ship's captain reported engine failure in choppy seas and radioed for assistance, saying the vessel was taking in water.

All 23 crew - three from China, three from Borneo and 17 Filipinos - were rescued by a passing container ship and brought back to Hong Kong.

The Hong Kong Salvage and Towage company sent their largest tug to locate the Panama-registered vessel and bring it back to the territory yesterday morning.

A team of divers is currently inspecting it for damage at its mooring in Junk Bay.

A spokesman for the Marine Department said it was up to the owners, believed to be Hong Kong company Poplar Navigation Company, to decide its fate.

No one at the company was prepared to comment.