8 Aug 2013

Search ends for survivors of French Polynesia shipping accident

12:49 pm on 8 August 2013

Search teams in the south of French Polynesia have abandoned attempts to find any more survivors of a shipping accident, which appears to have claimed eight lives.

A Chinese fishing boat, the Zhun Yang 26, with 14 people on board took on water in heavy seas and nine of them jumped into the sea, reportedly trying to get onto floats dropped by a rescue plane off Rapa.

Four drowned and another four are missing presumed dead, while one person was rescued suffering from hypothermia.

The remaining five were lifted off the stricken vessel by a helicopter and taken to Rapa.

The crew was made up of nine Chinese, three Indonesians and two Vietnamese.

The vessel was in transit between two fishing zones when the accident happened.

The exact cause of the disaster is not known but the area had experienced strong winds, which on Rapa ripped off roofs.