The Sri Lankan navy found 14 bodies in a Chinese boat that sank.
Sri Lanka’s navy said on Wednesday that it had found 14 bodies inside a Chinese fishing boat that sank last week with 39 people on board.
The gruesome find came one day after a preliminary investigation by the Chinese government found that there were no survivors on the ship that sank on May 16.
The Lu Peng Yuan Yu 028 had 17 Chinese, 17 Indonesians, and 5 Filipinos on board. It was 5,000 km west of Perth in Australia’s huge search-and-rescue area.
The Philippine foreign ministry said on May 18 that the boat was found about 1,000 kilometers south of Sri Lanka. However, bad weather made it hard to save the people on board.
The Sri Lankan navy said on Tuesday that its divers had found two bodies and seen 12 more. They released photos that showed the red hull of the ship turned over and bodies being pulled out of the water.
The navy said in a statement that removing the bodies would be very dangerous because of the bodies’ state of decay and the health risks that could come from working in dirty water with little protection.
It said that the Chinese government had been given a picture of where the 12 bodies were found on the boat. It wasn’t clear right away where the bodies found were from.
Australia helped with the foreign search-and-rescue efforts by sending three planes and four ships.
The Chinese transport ministry said that rescuers looked over an area of about 64,000 square kilometers and “did not find any sign of survivors.”
The fishing boat’s warning signal was found for the first time last week, when Cyclone Fabian was moving through the area with waves as high as 7 meters and winds as fast as 120 kilometers per hour.
Rescue efforts were slowed down by bad weather, and the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) in Canberra warned that conditions were “challenging” for life.
The ship belonged to the Penglai Jinglu Fishery Company, which is one of the biggest state-run fishing companies in China.
The North Pacific Fisheries Commission said it was okay to fish for bright flying squid and Pacific saury.
It left Cape Town, South Africa, on May 5 and headed for Busan, South Korea, according to a website that tracks ships. The last time it was seen was on May 10, southeast of Reunion, a small French island in the Indian Ocean.
Penglai Jinglu Fishery also fishes for squid and tuna in foreign waters, such as the Indian Ocean and the seas near Latin America.