Chinese cargo ship runs aground and damages hull during storm in Russia

These incredible images show a large Chinese cargo ship that ran aground in a port city in eastern Russia during a massive storm resulting in its hull being severely damaged.

The incident took place when the Chinese vessel, which has been named as the Xing Yuan, ran aground in the port town of Kholmsk, which is located on the south-western coast of Sakhalin Island, in the region of Sakhalin Oblast, in far-eastern Russia, on Monday December 6.

Drone footage showing the stricken vessel, which was built in 1993, after it ran aground was taken by Sakhalin resident Denis Ovsyannikov. He said: ‘On 6th December, in the Sakhalin city of Kholmsk, the Chinese dry-cargo ship Xing Yuan was washed ashore by a strong westerly wind.’

Dry-cargo vessels are multipurpose freighters that can carry large amounts of bulk cargo, such as grain or ore. It is currently unclear what, if any, cargo the vessel was carrying and if its damaged hull poses a threat to the local marine ecosystem.

Ovsyannikov said that the vessel had suffered engine problems, adding: ‘The crew wanted to wait out the bad weather away from the coast, but their main engine failed.’

The vessel then drifted East before running aground and damaging its hull.

The footage shows huge waves smashing against the side of the stricken vessel, which can be seen beached with the town visible in the background. The Xing Yuan was built in 1993 and flies a Sierra Leone flag. It is managed by a company called the Yun Xing Shipping Company, which is located in the eastern Chinese coastal province of Shandong.

The vessel’s 12 crew members have since been successfully rescued, the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations said in a statement. They added: ‘The planned measures for the evacuation and delivery to the shore of 12 crew members from the ship that ran aground in the city of Kholmsk were successful. Specialists of the Sakhalin Marine Rescue Service will inspect the vessel and develop a plan for further actions.

‘For preventive purposes, specialists are planning to install booms. No fuel spills are observed at this time.

‘There is no threat to the life and health of the crew. 25 people and 8 pieces of equipment were involved in the rescue operation.’

The ministry also said that the 12 crew aboard the vessel, that ran aground near the embankment of Kholmsk in the Tatar Strait, were all citizens of the ‘PRC’ (People’s Republic of China – the official name for modern-day China).

It is unclear if any of the rescued crew required any medical treatment.

The hull of the vessel is said to have been seriously damaged, although inspections are currently underway and the authorities are investigating.