Two foreign freighters collide off Shandong

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 30 November, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 30 November, 2010, 12:00am

All 49 crew on two foreign cargo ships that collided off the Shandong coast yesterday morning were rescued, Xinhua reported.

The Maritime Bureau in Weihai, a port city in the eastern province, said it received reports at about 2.30am that a Panamanian ship had collided with a Maltese vessel and that both were seriously damaged.

Four rescue boats - one salvage vessel and three tugboats - arrived at the scene about three hours later and managed to rescue all 49 sailors in both vessels, the bureau told Xinhua.

The Maltese ship, on its way from Indonesia to Tianjin , had 23 crew on board - 13 Iranians and 10 Filipinos - the report said. All the 26 sailors on board the Panamanian ship, which was heading from Tianjin to Singapore, were Chinese.

The Panamanian ship was towed to Weihai, and the Maltese ship was towed to Longyan, also in Shandong.

A maritime official in Weihai said the cause of the accident had yet to be determined and an investigation was under way.

Visibility at the time of the accident was reported to have been quite good.

Without giving further details, the official said the hulls of both ships were badly damaged.

China News Service said water entered at least two cabins on the Panamanian vessel.