Stricken Iranian oil tanker drifts into Japan's economic zone: coast guard

  • In World
  • 2018-01-12 06:38:13Z
  • By By Yuka Obayashi
Panama-registered Sanchi tanker is seen ablaze in open waters after colliding with a Chinese bulk ship
Panama-registered Sanchi tanker is seen ablaze in open waters after colliding with a Chinese bulk ship  

By Yuka Obayashi

TOKYO (Reuters) - A stricken Iranian oil tanker drifted into Japan's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) on Wednesday afternoon, a spokesman for Japan's Coast Guard told Reuters on Friday, as strong winds pushed the burning ship away from the Chinese coast.

The ship, which has been ablaze for almost a week since it collided with another vessel on Saturday night in the East China Sea, was about 300 km (186 miles) northwest of Sokkozaki on the island of Amami Oshima as of Thursday afternoon, a spokesman from the Coast Guard's 10th region based in Kagoshima said.

Amami Oshima is one of the northern islands in the Ryukyu islands chain that includes Okinawa.

The tanker Sanchi (IMO:9356608), owned by Iran's top oil shipping operator National Iranian Tanker Co, was carrying almost 1 million barrels of condensate, an ultra-light, highly flammable crude oil, to South Korea.

It collided with the freighter CF Crystal (IMO:9497050) that was carrying grain from the United States about 160 nautical miles (184 km) off China's coast near Shanghai.

The spokesman said that Chinese authorities turned down an offer from the Japanese Coast Guard to help, saying it would ask for help when needed.

The Coast Guard has sent patrol boats and aircraft to monitor the situation, he said.

According to China's state-owned China Central Television(CCTV), the tanker drifted about 25 miles (40 kms) to the south over the past two days, as of 9 a.m (0100 GMT) on Friday.

About 14 rescue vessels are attempting to put out the fire and searching for missing crew members from the tanker, CCTV reported citing Shanghai Maritime Search and Rescue Centre.

The Sanchi had a crew of 32 sailors at the time of the collision. The body of a mariner suspected to be from the ship was recovered on Monday and sent to Shanghai for identification. The rest of the crew, which included 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis, remains missing.

(Reporting by Yuka Obayashi in TOKYO, Muyu Xu in Beijing; Writing by Josephine Mason in BEIJING; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)


More Related News

Inter-Korean summit chairs to feature disputed islands
Inter-Korean summit chairs to feature disputed islands

South Korea has custom-made furniture for Friday's summit between President Moon Jae-in and the North's leader Kim Jong Un -- with chairs featuring disputed islands controlled by Seoul but claimed by Tokyo. One thing the rival Koreas share is a resentment of Japan, which imposed brutal colonial rule on the peninsula from 1910 to 1945, and the gesture is likely to irritate Tokyo. Japan has already lodged a strong protest over photos of a summit dessert dish which also marks the disputed islands.

Unjust dessert? Japan demands Koreans wipe map off summit dinner mousse
Unjust dessert? Japan demands Koreans wipe map off summit dinner mousse

Japan has demanded that South Korea rethink a mango mousse dessert it plans to serve at a North-South summit dinner on Friday which features a map of the Korean peninsula, including islands disputed with Japan, a recurring irritant for Tokyo. The mousse, subtitled "Spring of the People" in a publicity photo, features islands known as Takeshima in Japan and Dokdo in Korea, which lie about halfway between the East Asian neighbors in the Sea of Japan, which Seoul refers to as the East Sea. "It is extremely regrettable," a Japanese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said on Wednesday, adding that Japan had lodged a protest.

Japan's Abe says upcoming North Korea summits could mend ties between North, Japan
  • World
  • 2018-04-24 09:11:45Z

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said success at upcoming summits North Korea has planned with South Korea and the United States could also mean North Korea and Japan could normalize ties, the South's presidential Blue House said on Tuesday. "The success of the two summits means North

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: World

Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.