The South China Sea is one of the busiest maritime corridors in the world today, with more than 100,000 ships passing through the sea area every year.
It is incumbent on China as a responsible power to ensure the safety of navigation in the South China Sea.
In recent years, China has continuously strengthened the capacity-building of maritime search and rescue and emergency response in the South China Sea.
Since July 2018, the China Maritime Search and Rescue Center has arranged professional rescue ships to station on Nansha Island and Reef, earnestly fulfilled its international maritime rescue obligations, and carried out fruitful maritime rescue operations again and again.
At about 20:00 on December 21, 2020, the Sierra Leonean bulk cargo ship “DONG YANG” entered the water about 27 nautical miles northeast of Wan’an Beach in the Spratly Islands.
The hull was tilted 20 degrees, which was extremely critical. Ten crew members abandoned the ship and boarded the life raft for rescue, including 2 Chinese crew members and 8 Filipinos. Lubin’s crew. Affected by Typhoon Korowang No. 23, the wind at the scene of the accident was strong, and the lives of the crew in distress were seriously threatened.
Search and rescue against time
Dark nights, strong winds, high waves… Such a bad environment makes search and rescue work difficult. After receiving the alarm information, the Ministry of Transport attached great importance to it.
The China Maritime Search and Rescue Center made every effort to do a good job in the search and rescue of crews in distress, and organized the Hainan Maritime Search and Rescue Center to urgently coordinate the strength of the professional rescue ships “South China Sea Rescue 115” and “China Coast Guard 5402” and other member units of the National Inter-Ministerial Joint Conference on Maritime Search and Rescue.
Nearby merchant ships race against time to carry out search and rescue.
After more than ten hours of continuous search and rescue, at about 14:30 on the 22nd, after drifting at sea for nearly 20 hours, all of the 10 distressed crew members were safely rescued by the Liberian container ship “JPO PISCES” coordinated by us, and all the crew members had good vital signs.
Photo of the “JPO PISCES” round of scene rescue. ( Photo provided by China Maritime Search and Rescue Center)
“We always adhere to the concept of life first. Where there is danger at sea, there will be people searching and rescue at sea.” The relevant person in charge of China Maritime Search and Rescue Center said, “Every time we rescue, we are guarding the bottom line of safety at sea, and effectively interpreting the maritime search and rescue spirit of ‘Huihai Zehang, human-oriented’ with practical actions.”
According to statistics, as of December 26, 2020, China Maritime Search and Rescue Center has organized a total of 1,748 search and rescue operations throughout the year, and successfully rescued 1,243 foreign people in distress in China’s search and rescue area.
Rescue and epidemic prevention are both correct.
At 9:30 on December 25, 2020, the “JPO PISCES” ship carrying 10 distress crew arrived at the Yantian Port Anchorage in Shenzhen.
At present, because the spread of the epidemic abroad is still accelerating, and the crew of the rescued and the crew of the “JPO PISCES” ship carrying the rescued crew are mainly foreign.
How to arrange the berthing of the “JPO PISCES” ship and the placement of the crew in distress efficiently and safely cannot be affected by the ship’s participation in maritime rescue. The ship-swing period, causing losses to the company and crew, as well as follow-up epidemic prevention, has become a big test in front of Shenzhen Maritime Search and Rescue Center.
“After receiving the news that the ‘JPO PISCES’ ship was attached to Shenzhen Yantian Port on the 25th, we quickly carried out the relevant preparations for the rescued crew to leave the ship, immediately reported to the Shenzhen Epidemic Prevention and Control Headquarters and the Yantian District Government, and coordinated wharves, agencies and other units to organize information collection and ship priority.
Work such as docking in the harbor, personnel placement and coordination. The relevant person in charge of Shenzhen Maritime Search and Rescue Center introduced.
After understanding the appeals of the owner of the ship in distress and the captain of the rescue ship, Shenzhen Maritime Search and Rescue Center strictly follows the relevant work guidelines for epidemic prevention and control in Guangdong Province, handles the procedures for the entry and isolation and observation of the crew, and does a good job in guaranteeing during isolation and treatment.
After testing, the 10 crew members rescued were tested positive for nucleic acid by the Filipino captain, and the nucleic acid test results of the three Filipino crew members were negative, but the serum antibody test results were abnormal.
After the research and judgment of the local epidemic prevention headquarters, the above four people were arranged for isolation and treatment in Shenzhen Third People’s Hospital, and the remaining six people were sent to designated isolation points in Shenzhen for isolation.
“Resolutely fight the people’s war, general war and resistance war of COVID-19 prevention and control, external defense input, internal defense rebound, while ensuring the safety of epidemic prevention, make every effort to maintain the stability and smoothness of the international logistics supply chain, ensure the safety of navigation, and ensure that import and export goods can be ‘in and out’.
This is the solemn commitment of our transporters, and it is also our greatest guarantee for the safety of the crew, ourselves and the lives of the people, the health of the normal production and life. The relevant person in charge of China Maritime Search and Rescue Center stressed.