General cargo vessel THUAN PHAT 8 sank or sinking, crew rescued

General cargo vessel THUAN PHAT 8 issued distress signal at around 2300 LT Nov 26 in position 18 03N 107 01E, some 30 nm off Quang Binh province coast, Gulf of Tonkin. Vessel reported drifting after steering failure in adverse weather, while en route from Hai Phong with 3,100 tons of rice on board, and 11 crew. Vessels in the vicinity were asked to assist in SAR, understood HK-flagged general cargo vessel SINOCEAN HOPE (IMO 9115456) located EPIRB and reported information to Vietnam MRCC in the morning Nov 27. Rescue boat or ship CSB 2006 rescued 11 crew later in the day, not clear whether from life rafts or life boats. Vessel said to sank, but not confirmed. Most probably, there was cargo shift, which caused capsizing, maybe vessel is still afloat.

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