Eighteen crew missing after Gearbulk-owned vessel capsizes and sinks off the Vietnamese coast.

The 56,000-dwt Bulk Jupiter (built 2006) issued distress signals on Thursday night while it was en route from Malaysia to China.

It departed Malaysia’s Kuantan on 30 December with 19 Filipinos onboard and laden with 46,400-tonnes of bauxite.

Gearbulk said repeated attempts to contact the vessel on all communication channels were unsuccessful.

A Japanese coast guard tugboat has picked up one surviving member of the crew.

Another vessel owned by Israel’s Zim, the 3,400-teu Zim Asia (built 1996), noticed a lifeboat and a life raft, both empty, close to where the Bulk Jupiter capsized.

The search and rescue operation led by Singaporean authorities continues.

There are no further reports about the missing crew.

The Bulk Jupiter was acquired by Bergen-based Gearbulk in 2008.

It has hull insurance coverage led by the Norwegian Hull Club while the London-based Britannia Club has the vessel's protection and indemnity cover.

Source: www.tradewindsnews.com