An asphalt/bitumen tanker Bitu Gulf sank in the South China Sea, 2.6NM southeast of Phan Rang (Vietnam). The ship started taking on water and went under water. Bitu Gulf was previously named Asphalt Venture and was hijacked in the past. According to information all crew members were rescued by Evergreen Marine Corp’s container ship Ever Summit and transported to Malaysia. A report from the tanker was received for the flooding. After officials lost contact with Bitu Gulf a search and rescue operation was started.
The vessel Bitu Gulf (Asphalt Venture) was seized by pirates on Sept 28, 2010 in the Somali Basin. The crew members were taken hostages and a ransom from the Somali pirates was asked. After months of captivity the crew was released by the pirates after an operation of anti-piracy forces. The vessel was built in 1991 and has 3,884dwt.