At about 21:28 on June 1st, 2015, a cruise ship heading from Nanjing, the capital city of Jiangsu Province in east China to Chongqing in southwest China sank in Shishou section of Yangtze River in Hubei Province. Based on preliminary investigations, the accident was caused by a cyclone.
According to the Yangtze River Navigation Administration, the ship had altogether 458 onboard, including 406 Chinese travelers, 5 travel agency workers, and 47 crew members. Most of the travelers were seniors aged 50 to 80 years old.
After the accident, 7 people swam to the bank and reported it to the police. Rescue work started soon after. The sunken ship has now been found completely upside down in the water with a depth of about 49 feet (15 meters). Also, it rains heavily and winds blow strongly there. All these have brought great difficulties for the rescue work. Currently, over 100 ships are searching for the survivors. At time of writing, more than 10 people have been rescued.
Cause of the Sinking
The ship sank immediately after being caught by a cyclone, according to the captain and ship engineer who have been rescued.
Background of the Sunken Ship
The ship Eastern Star (Dongfangzhixing) has a length of 83.7 yards (76.5 meters), a width of 12 yards (11 meters), and a passenger capacity of 534. It belongs to Chongqing Oriental Shipping Company, which was founded in 1967 and has specialized in receiving domestic Chinese clients on its Yangtze River cruise.
Should I cancel my Yangtze River cruise after the sinking?
The cruise ships used by TravelChinaGuide.com are luxury ones specialized in serving foreign tourists. Please rest assured that our Yangtze River cruises are safe. There are several reasons for this:
1. Our cruise ships are much wider and heavier than the sunken Eastern Star, which means they sail more stably and are less affected by wind. Take Yangtze Golden Cruise No.1 for example: it is about 66 yards (60 meters) longer, 10 yards (9 meters) wider and 8100 tonnages heavier than the Eastern Star.
2. Eastern Star sank in the middle reaches of Yangtze River where the water area is wide. Our ships cruise along much safer upper reaches between Yichang and Chongqing; the water is narrower and there are mountains on both sides, where cyclones cannot happen.
3. After confirmations with the ports and several cruise companies, all the cruise ships between Yichang and Chongqing are not affected and sailing caries on as usual.