Hanoi, Jan 5: The bodies of two crew members of the Norwegian cargo ship which sank off the coast of southern Vietnam have been identified as the captain and deputy captain, state media reported on Monday.
The Thanh Nien (Young People) said the bodies of captain Ronel Acueza Andrin and deputy captain Jerome Maquilang Dincy were brought to southern province of Ba Ria Vung Tau yesterday.
Their ship, the Bulk Jupiter, sank with 19 Philippino crew members on Friday en route from Malaysia to China, and Vietnamese rescuers aided by commercial ships passing through the area continued to search for the others, according to Vietnamese authorities and the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs.
The ship's chief cook, Angelito Capindo Rojas, is the only known survivor. Rojas told officials that he had no idea what happened with the ship.
"I don't understand why the ship had the accident and sank," he was quoted as saying "I just knew that the ship, which was on its way, suddenly tilted. I just had time to put on life vest and jump into the sea."
Thanh Nien quoted Nguyen Anh Vu, general director of Vietnam's maritime search and rescue operations coordination center, as saying the search operation was hampered by bad weather.
The ship owner, Bergen-based Gearbulk, said the vessel was 287 kilometres off Vietnam with a cargo of bauxite when it sent a distress signal that was picked up by the Japanese coast guard.
The Philippine Foreign Affairs said the 190-meter long, 56,000-ton ship sank off the coast of Vung Tau, which is 96 kilometres from the southern commercial hub of Ho Chi Minh City.
Vessels from Liberia, Oman, Singapore and China were helping in the search, the Philippine Foreign Affairs office said.