Survivors of sinking ship tell of their ordeal

Updated 2018-01-05 09:31:05

From left: Survivors Jiang Yuzhao, Li Weilin and Yang Jianguang talk to the media on january 4.

Three men who were rescued after their cargo ship sank on Tuesday night after a collision with a freighter talked to the media yesterday for the first time about their ordeal.

Meanwhile, nine crew members are still missing after divers found a body on the sunken ship at 4:35pm yesterday.

Shanghai Maritime Search and Rescue Center said the identity of the victim had yet to be confirmed.

The center said the body was found in the corridor of the third level of the ship where the sailors' cabins are located. More than 20 search and rescue vessels are continuing to work in the area.

The Changping sank near Shanghai's Wusong Dock around 11:30pm on Tuesday.

"The ship sank too quickly, leaving us too little time to react," said sailor Jiang Yuzhao, 47.

He survived along with chief mate Li Weilin and second engineer Yang Jianguang.

"The ship left the basin after 11pm and encountered water traffic restrictions before entering the Huangpu River," said Li, a 53-year-old Dalian native. "We dropped anchor and waited for a while. The ship started sailing again when the restriction was over.

"It was raining pretty heavily. I went to change into my raincoat after finishing the anchor work. Suddenly I heard a big noise and the ship shook heavily. I ran to the deck to check the damage, seeing that the captain was also there. Then I saw water flooding onto the deck, while the ship was sinking. So I shouted loudly, ordering the crew to abandon ship.

"From hearing the noise to deciding to abandon the ship, it was no more than three minutes," Li said.

Li said he fell into the water and had to hold tight to a rail so that the water pulling into the ship down would not drag him into the cabin. He soon floated up to the surface and noticed that Yang was not far from him.

"We tried to stay together, but the current was too strong and got us separated," Li said. "I could not find the whistle attached to my life jacket, but found a torch floating on the water. With the torch, I managed to catch the attention of a ship passing by."

Li said the ship, Junyu 28, approached and stopped its engine before pulling him out of the water.

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