Indian Ocean fishing vessel search

AMSA Media release with bottom of the sea image

The search will continue today for the crew of a stricken Chinese fishing boat, Lu Peng – Yuan YU, in a remote location in the Indian Ocean, about 5,000km northwest of Perth and 1,500 south of Sri Lanka.

There are believed to have been 39 crew on board, consisting of Chinese, Indonesian and Filipino Nationals.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) continues to coordinate a multinational search effort after a distress beacon signal was received by AMSA from the fishing vessel at about 5.30am (AEST) on the morning of 16 May.

Later on 16 May, bulk carrier Navios Taurus sighted an upturned hull in the search area, along with some debris. No survivors were sighted.

AMSA requested assistance from the Australian Defence Force. An ADF P-8A Poseidon aircraft was tasked with assisting with the long-range search. The ADF aircraft will re-join the search today after overnighting in the Maldives.

A private charter aircraft from Maxem Aviation in Perth, with SES observers on board, also assisted with the search yesterday (17 May) and will re-join the search today after overnighting in the Maldives.

A number of merchant ships and other vessels have been assisting with the search and will continue to do so today. AMSA would like to thank these vessels and their crews for their invaluable assistance.

Australia has been liaising with the Chinese Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC), with three Chinese naval ships continuing the search in the area today.

The search zone will focus on a 12,000 square km area south of where the upturned hull was found on Tuesday. This area has been determined by drift modelling carried out by AMSA, informed by information supplied by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, and other sources.

Weather conditions on 16 May were extreme, with the passage of Cyclone Fabian, with 120km winds and 7 metre seas.

Conditions today have abated, with some showers, low cloud, 30-50 km/h winds and 2-3m seas.


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