Indian Navy deploys P8I in search of survivors of sunken Chinese fishing vessel
Indian Navy deploys P8I in search of survivors of sunken Chinese fishing vessel

National Defence
New Delhi, 18 May 2023

In a swift humanitarian action on 17 May Indian Navy deployed its Air Maritime Reconnaissance assets in the Southern Indian Ocean Region approximately 900 Nm from India, in response to sinking of a Chinese Fishing Vessel Lu Peng Yuan Yu 028 with 39 crew onboard. The crew includes nationals from China, Indonesia and Philippines. P8I aircraft have carried out multiple and extensive searches despite adverse weather and located multiple objects possibly belonging to the sunken vessel.

As an immediate response, SAR equipment was deployed at the scene by the Indian aircraft on request of PLA(N) ships closing the area. In a display of India’s obligations as a credible and responsible partner for ensuring safety at sea, the Indian Navy units also coordinated SAR efforts with other units in the area and guided the PLA(N) warships transiting to the scene of incident.

Indian Navy continues to remain deployed to provide all possible assistance to the ongoing SAR efforts.

Earlier Chinese state media reported that a Chinese fishing boat has sunk in the Indian Ocean with all 39 of its Chinese and international crew missing.

Broadcaster CCTV said the incident happened in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The crew includes 17 people from China, 17 from Indonesia and five from the Philippines, the report said.

President Xi Jinping ordered a coordinated search, CCTV said, but “so far, no missing persons have been found”.

China has deployed two commercial vessels to help in the regional search-and-rescue operation.

“It is necessary to further strengthen the safety management of fishing vessels at sea and implement preventive measures to ensure the safety of maritime transportation,” Premier Li Qiang was reported quoted as saying.

The Chinese reports did not identify the exact location of the sinking, revealing only that it took place in the centre of the Indian Ocean that stretches from South Asia and the Arabian Peninsula to East Africa and western Australia.

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