RoRo sinks after collision with chemical tanker; three missing

The Japanese Coast Guard was deploying 14 ships and three aircraft on Friday to search for three crew missing from a capsized RoRo cargo ship.

The Byakko (IMO 9883510) sank at about 02:40 after colliding with a chemical tanker identified by a Japanese Coast Guard spokesman as the Ulsan Pioneer (IMO 9730969).

The collision had occurred just before midnight in the Kurushima Strait, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told a news conference.

Nine of the Byakko’s 12 crew were rescued on Friday by the coast guard and nearby ships, Kato said. One crew member was feared dead on Sunday after he was recovered near the vessel, local media reported.

There were no injuries reported among the tanker crew, and no leakage or floating objects at the site, he said.

The coast guard had deployed 14 patrol ships and three aircraft in the search, he said.

2020-built, Japan-flagged, 11,454 gt Byakko is owned by Japan Railway/Hokusei Kaiun care of Hokusei Kaiun KK of Tokyo, Japan.

2016-built Marshall Islands-flagged, 2,696 gt Ulsan Pioneer is owned by Hidhic No 2 SA care of manager Heung-A Shipping Co Ltd of Seoul, South Korea. ISM manager is PTS Co Ltd of Busan, South Korea. It is entered with Steamship Mutual (Eastern Syndicate) on behalf of Hidhic No 2 SA.