Burning Iranian Oil Tanker Off China Coast Sinks After One Week

The Iranian oil tanker burning in the East China Sea for more than a week has finally sunk, Chinese media reported on Sunday. The Sanchi tanker and a cargo ship collided 260km (160 miles) off Shanghai on 6 January, with the tanker then drifting south-east towards Japan. China Central Television said that the Sanchi had gone down after "suddenly igniting" around noon (04:00 GMT).

Earlier, the Iranian press reported that all 32 crew members - 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis - on the tanker are dead. The tanker was carrying 136,000 tonnes of ultra-light crude but Chinese officials, credible as always, said there is no major slick.

Even though some 13 vessels and an Iranian commando unit had been taking part in the salvage operation, amid bad weather, no survivors were found, and according to a spokesman for the Iranian team, Mohammad Rastad, there was no hope of finding any survivors.

According to BBC, on Saturday, salvage workers had boarded the vessel and found the bodies of two crew members in a lifeboat. Only one other body had been found during the week of salvage operations. The rescue workers retrieved the ship's black box but had to leave quickly because of the toxic smoke and high temperatures.

A map showing the collision point and approximate location a week later: BBC

The Panama-flagged Sanchi was bringing the condensate from Iran to South Korea when the collision with the Hong Kong-registered freighter CF Crystal, carrying grain from the US, happened in the East China Sea. The crewmen of the Crystal were all rescued.

The cause of the collision is still not known.

After the collision the Sanchi drifted at about 2.2km/h (1.4mph), south-eastwards towards the Japanese island of Amami Oshima.

Condensate is very different from the black crude that is often seen in oil spills. It is toxic, low in density and considerably more explosive than regular crude. Condensate creates products such as jet fuel, petrol, diesel and heating fuel.


MozartIII Sun, 01/14/2018 - 21:48 Permalink

They are now looking to save the crew! Just reporting as it is reported....

EDIT: Saw this as a headline this morning or yesterday, or in a story/summary. I read a lot, not to perfection.

My bad! The ZH article above has several sources that I did not have. The US feeds (weird) did not have updates on the story that I saw. Not something that I would normally follow, and is not in my paid feeds or areas of interest. They(China) apparently as expected, started rescue operations immediately, good on them. I was misinformed. My apologies to families and crew!!

  Prayers to the families of those lost!!!


Masher1 Sun, 01/14/2018 - 22:25 Permalink

This is new, I am seeing votes cast that i did not cast, Twice i have seen (Reset) appear on comments i did not vote...... Now i see how these votes work... real sneaky. Keep you eyes out folks.... If they do it to me they do it for you... Call it out if you see it..

squid Mon, 01/15/2018 - 07:01 Permalink

"The tanker was carrying 136,000 tonnes of ultra-light crude but Chinese officials, credible as always, said there is no major slick."


Ok dumb reporter, follow me if you can...I know you only have a BA in journalism and there was no requirement for you to take any chemistry or physics in Uni thus ensuring that you understand absolutely NOTHING about the physical world, but try and follow me anyway....

What is left after oil burns?


Take your time answering.....its ok, we understand, take your time.



The best way to get rid of an oil slick is to flare it off. This is quite easy in warmer waters, its quite difficult in cold water as the oil turns tarry.


The oil is quite clearly ablaze, the slick or whatever is left of it, will flare off.