China’s state TV CCTV said a Chinese fishing vessel sank in the Indian Ocean: Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Li Qiang ordered their diplomats and the ministries of Agriculture and Transport to start the rescue operations to search for the 39 missing crew members, of whom 17 are Chinese, 17 Indonesian and 5 Filipino.
Chinese media have not indicated the exact spot where the vessel sank and the causes of its sinking are not known at the moment. The vessel was named Lu Peng Yuan You 028 and was operated by a major state-controlled Chinese fishing company. According to data cited by Al Jazeera, she had the authorization to fish squid and other animals, and her presence was last reported on May 10 in the southeast of the island of Réunion, east of Madagascar.
The Philippine Coast Guard has said it is following the situation and is coordinating with both the Chinese embassy in the capital Manila and with other vessels engaged in searches in the area where the vessel was last seen. The Australian maritime authorities are also collaborating in the research, which said they have concentrated their operations in an area about 5 thousand kilometers north-west of Perth, in Western Australia.