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Based on their preliminary research, the Chinese Ministry of Transport said it believes there are no survivors. Divers from the Sri Lanka Navy had searched the interior of the vessel looking for possible air pockets with the Chinese officials saying they now believe while there is still air in the hull the living spaces are extremely limited.

The Sri Lanka Navy reports it made multiple Lu Peng Yuan Yu 028

. They said meticulous searches were undertaken in very difficult conditions including zero visibility and water turbulence. Two bodies were recovered from the captain’s cabin and accommodation area, according to the Sri Lankans. Later searches they said had located 12 additional bodies of the crew in various compartments of the vessel.

“Due to decomposition and the potential health hazards posed by operating in contaminated waters with limited protective gear, it was determined that retrieving those bodies would be exceedingly dangerous,” the Sri Lanka Navy said in its statement. They decided to work with the

Sri Lanka withdrew its team on May 22 with them heading back to base. This followed Australia which handed over the operation after four days to the Chinese. Australia said at the conclusion of its search that it believed the vessel was likely lost due to cyclonic weather conditions in the region.

The Ministry of Transport said that they would continue a 48-hour small-scale investigation. Seven vessels are reported to still be on the scene. They said the search had covered nearly 18,700 square nautical miles covering the possible drift area.

The searches located various bits of debris from the ship. They also recovered the lifeboat. The Ministry said however that no signs of survivors had been found.

The fishing vessel is reported to have had a crew of 39, including 17 Chinese, 17 Indonesians, and five Filipino crew. China had previously said that one of its warships had recovered two bodies before the reports of the 14 located by the

Chinese officials said steps would be taken to improve the safety of its deep-sea fishing boats in the wake of the tragedy. In Indonesia, however, there are calls for an investigation. Reports indicate as many as 70,000 Indonesian crewmembers are believed to be working on Chinese fishing vessels. The labor department reports that 40 Indonesian seafarers died working on foreign fishing boats between November 2019 and March 2022.



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