According to state media reports on Wednesday, a Chinese fishing boat, “Lupeng Yuanyu 028” capsized in the Indian Ocean with 39 crew members on board, who are missing for more than 24 hours.
According to a report by CCTV, a Chinese state broadcaster, out of the 39 missing members, 17 are Chinese, 17 Indonesian, and five Filipino. CCTV also reported that the accident occurred on Tuesday at 3am.
While taking notice of the situation, Chinese leader Xi Jinping urged rescuers to make “all-out efforts” to save the victims.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Li Qiang has ordered to take suitable measures to “reduce casualties and strengthen safety management of fishing vessels at sea to ensure safe maritime transport and production”.
As Xi and Li ordered Chinese diplomats and different ministries around the world to help with the ongoing search for survivors, countries including Australia, the Philippines and Indonesia have offered help in the search.
The capsized fishing vessel belonged to Penglai Jinglu Fishery Co Ltd, a company based in Shandong province.
The ship had set sail from Cape Town, South Africa, on May 3 and was headed towards Busan, South Korea, according to ship-tracking site FleetMon, South China Morning Post reports.
The accident occurred around 2,900 miles northwest of Australia, says Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency.
However, it is yet to be confirmed what caused the boat to turn over.
An Australian Defence Force aircraft has been searching the area accompanied by different ships and has not discovered any survivors, NBC says.
Australian Maritime Safety Authority said it was alerted by an SOS from the unfortunate fishing vessel at about 5:30am Tuesday, Australian time. It said, according to the distress signal, said the weather in the vicinity of the boat was “extremely stormy” on Tuesday but lost some of its strength by Wednesday.
Moreover, this is not the first time that travellers have gone missing on the premises of the Indian Ocean.
Previously, a Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 carrying 239 people, had disappeared from the radar near the Indian Ocean in 2014.