Two bodies were found on Thursday afternoon after a Chinese deep-sea fishing vessel capsized on Tuesday in the Indian Ocean with 39 crew on board, the Ministry of Transport said on Thursday.
Nine Chinese vessels and one foreign vessel have carried out search and rescue operations. Another two vessels deployed from China are expected to arrive in the area on Friday to join the search.
The crew members of the capsized vessel, Lu Peng Yuan Yu 028 — comprising 17 Chinese, 17 Indonesian and five Filipino sailors — have been missing since 3 am on Tuesday when the incident occurred in the central Indian Ocean.
President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Qiang ordered all-out search and rescue efforts on Tuesday, urging relevant departments to reduce casualties and strengthen safety management in deep-sea operations.
The vessel is owned by Penglai Jinglu Fishery Co, a major fishing company based in Yantai, Shandong province.
According to the Ministry of Transport, a small number of floating objects such as woven bags and plastic baskets have been found.
The two bodies were discovered by a naval vessel at about 1:30 pm on Thursday, the ministry said.
On Wednesday, four aircraft — three from Australia and one from India — joined in the search. Australia is expected to send aircraft to continue search and rescue on Thursday.
The Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs have maintained close communication and arranged additional forces to carry out search and rescue, according to the Ministry of Transport.
The cause of the capsizing is as yet unknown.