Captain of Chinese ship missing in AP

Mystery shrouds the disappearance of Zhangming Qiang, 45-year-old captain of the Chinese cargo vessel MV Ocean Gem. The ship was anchored about seven nautical miles off the Krishnapatnam port near here when the captain went missing after midnight on September 24.
There is speculation that the captain may have committed suicide by jumping into the sea, but the police is not convinced this is the case. There is no sign of the body though the Coast Guard and marine police have been searching the area since September 25.
A printout of a message in Chinese was found in the captain’s room indicating that he had sought a replacement for himself since he had been working on the ship for three months.
The police investigating the case say a sailor on board the ship noticed the captain standing on the bridge of the ship around 10.30 pm on September 24. Another sailor on night patrol heard the sound of something falling into the sea a few minutes later. Suspecting that someone might have fallen overboard, he threw a lifebelt into the sea and focused a searchlight on the area.
He alerted the chief officer of the vessel immediately as he thought he saw a man but could not recognise him. When the chief officer realised that the captain was missing, he alerted the port authorities.
Sources in the police say it is difficult getting information from the crew who all speak only Chinese or bad English.
The laptop belonging to the captain also had content in Chinese. The key of his locker was missing and it is impossible to break the locker, a police officer said.
According to the rural DSP, Mr Bala Venkateswar Rao, the ship was transporting granite and was awaiting tax clearance
Meanwhile, Admiral, Shipping Ltd, Mumbai, has requested the police to investigate further and has assured the cooperation of the crew.

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