The death toll after the sinking of general cargo ship Jin Tian (IMO 9578713) in icy waters on January 25th has climbed by two to eight. The dead included six Chinese sailors, according to the Chinese consul general, who was speaking in Fukuoka, Japan, on January 26th.
Several Japanese Coast Guard and military ships and planes, as well as the South Korean Coast Guard and private vessels, took part in the SAR operation, which resulted in the recovery of 13 of the 22 crew members. However, among these 13 people eight deaths were confirmed, while five of them – four of whom were Chinese nationals – were not in mortal danger. Nine people remained missing.
The ship was about 75nm south of Jeju island, South Korea, en route from Port Klang, Malaysia, to Incheon, Japan, when it appears to have suffered a shift in its lumber cargo during a severe storm.
The first distress call was received on January 24th at around 23.15 local time. At 02:40 the following morning the captain reported that the crew was abandoning the vessel and getting into lifeboats. By then the vessel was some 100 miles southwest of Nagasaki and 90 miles south of Jeju Island. Wind speeds in the SAR zone were ranging between 35 and 45 mph, with a swell of between nine feet and 13ft.
2010-built, Hong Kong-flagged, 6,551 gt Jin Tian is owned by Long Bright Shipping Ltd care of manager Shenzhen Shekou Shipping & Transportation Co Ltd of Shenzhen, Guangdong, China. It is entered with West of England (Claims Team Hong Kong) on behalf of Long Bright Shipping Ltd.