Sinking of Oyang 70
Sinking of Oyang 70
The owner, Sajo Oyang Corporation of Korea and the NZ charterer, Southern Storm Fishing (2007) Limited, with much regret, confirm that their vessel, the Korean flagged Oyang 70 has been lost at sea some 400 nautical miles east of Otago.
At this stage it is unclear what caused the vessel to sink. The vessel released its two 406 mhz emergency position indicating beacons (EPIRBs) at 04:37 am NZ time today and sent a distress call to other vessels in the area through VHF channel 16. The EPIRB signals, which utilise satellite communication signals, programmed with the ship identify and contact details were received at the NZ Rescue Communications Centre operated by Maritime NZ almost immediately and a Maritime search and rescue operation was commenced shortly thereafter.
A number of New Zealand and foreign charter vessels fishing in New Zealand waters responded to the ships distress call. In particular the New Zealand owned FV Amaltal Altantis received the ships distress call, immediately sent a mayday call and, along with other vessels, steamed at full speed to the last known position of the Oyang 70, where they participated in the rescue of crew and the search for missing personnel.
The owner and the New Zealand charterer have been advised by the Rescue Coordination Centre that 45 crew members, along with the bodies of three crew members have been recovered by the FV Amaltal Atlantis. A search is currently underway, involving seven ships and an RNZAF Orion, for three missing crew members, including the vessels Captain.
Sajo Oyang Corporation and Southern Storm Fishing (2007) Limited wish to take this opportunity to express their deep appreciation for the efforts involved by all members of the Maritime community, New Zealand authorities and the New Zealand fishing industry that have come to the aid of the vessel and the missing crew members. They would particularly take the opportunity to thank the owners, Captain and crew of the FV Amaltal Atlantis for their assistance in this matter.
While the cause of the vessel sinking is unknown at this time and the matter is likely to be the subject of official investigation, the owner and charterer have no reason to believe that the sinking was in any way related to the condition of the vessel. The FV Oyang 70 underwent a full Maritime New Zealand safety inspection in July 2010 and was equipped with a full complement of life saving equipment, life rafts and cold water immersion suits as required by both International and Maritime conventions. The vessel had a full and current Maritime NZ Safe Ship Management certificate at the time of sinking. In addition the vessel was surveyed to Korean survey standards in Lyttleton in December 2009. Korean survey standards comply with the requirements of IMO conventions and are consistent with the standards required in respect of NZ owned vessels.
The owner and the NZ charterer of Oyang 70 have been fully involved in the marine SAR operation from the time the sinking became known early this morning and have assisted maritime authorities with information that has been of assistance to the search and rescue operation. Both companies will offer every support to the survivors throughout the inquiry and will provide accommodation, support and repatriation to their homes as soon as they are in a position to do so as approved by the authorities. The companies will also make every endeavour to provide support to the families of those who have lost loved ones in this tragedy.
Most importantly, both the owner and the New Zealand charterer wish to take the opportunity to express their deepest sympathy to the families of the crew members of the vessel that have lost their lives.