Government Flying Service deploys entire fleet of helicopters and aircraft to participate in rescue operation of missing crew members of doomed engineering vessel

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3rd July 2022 – (Hong Kong) When Typhoon Chaba hit Guangdong Province and Hainan Island last Saturday (2nd), the mainland engineering vessel “Fujing 001” broke into half and sank in the waters southwest of Hong Kong, and 30 people on board fell into the sea. According to an announcement by the Guangdong Maritime Search and Rescue Centre in the early hours of Sunday (3rd), the vessel was a floating crane for offshore wind power project construction.

At about 12 noon yesterday during the No. 8 Southeast Gale or Storm Signal, three people on the vessel were rescued by the helicopter of the Hong Kong Government Flying Service and the remaining 27 people were still missing. At present, “Fujing 001” has sunk, and search and rescue operations are still in progress.

There is a wind farm at the site, and more than 100 windmills are on the sea surface. It is very difficult and uncertain for a helicopter to descend to the water surface to search. It is difficult to get close to the water surface to determine the search location. For the first time, the Government Flying Service dispatched all its entire fleet at the same time, even if the personnel on vacation were recalled to duty.

During the operation, Government Flying Service dispatched 6 helicopters, 3 fixed-wing aircraft, 18 pilots and 18 pilots to participate in the mission. The Government Flying Service said that the fixed-wing aircraft is still searching for the victims today, and the scope has been expanded due to the situation, hoping to find survivors. The team received notification from the Marine Department yesterday, but at that time, the typhoon caused bad weather in Hong Kong.

Its fixed-wing aircraft was the first aircraft to arrive at the scene. The weather was bad at that time and it was difficult to see the surrounding conditions. During the critical moment, it was necessary to identify the accident scene as soon as possible, and it took only around 25 to 35 minutes for the helicopter to reach the scene to conduct rescue operation, so the fixed-wing aircraft was responsible for observing and determining the situation during the more than 3 hours that the fixed-wing aircraft stayed at the scene.

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