You Xiu

IMO Number9034614
Call sign(HRSB6) VRUB6
TypeBulk Carrier
DWT26802
Length167.2m
Beam26.2m
Draft9.5m (depth 13.3m)
Crew27
Cargo5 holds, 4 cranes, empty
BuilderHakodate Shipyard, Japan, 1992
FlagHong-Kong, since April 18th, 1992 (previously Panama, March 5th, 1992 - April 18th, 1992)
OwnerKIU LEE Shipping Ltd. Hong Kong, represented by COSCO Shipping Hong Kong, rented by ARMADA Shipping APS Denmark
InsurerP&I Britania, represented in Romania by Interservices S.A., Bucuresti
AgentLiberty/Navlomar
Sink dateJanuary 4th, 1995
Sink reasondrifted into, and struck the Constanta's harbour north breakwater, during a heavy storm, due to engine trouble
Survivorsnone (6 dead, 21 missing)
CoordinatesN44 07.157 E028 42.142
Depth21m

You Xiu means Excellent / Outstanding / Fine / Splendid in English.

The worst naval accident in the history of Constanta harbour happened on January 4th, 1995, when two ships hit the north breakwater, during a heavy storm with 10 meter high waves. They sank after the collision, without any survivor. The two ships were You Xiu, registered in Hong Kong, and Paris, registered in Malta.

You Xiu arrived empty from Venice, Italy, reaching Constanta on October 28th, 1994, and it was waiting to load 20000 tons of urea. The ship was anchored at about 3.3 miles from the north breakwater of the harbour.

On January 4th, 1995, at 17:10, the Harbour Master notified You Xiu that 0.6 miles east of them there is Paris, having the windlass broken and unable to weigh anchor. Considering the worsening weather, they advised You Xiu to either change the anchorage position or to depart anchorage and sail windward. You Xiu replied with a simple 'OK'.

At 18:00, when the Harbour Master shift changed, 4 ships were moored in the inner bay, 10 other ships had already sailed windward, Paris was anchored in Area 1, 3.5 miles out from the north breakwater, still having trouble with the windlass, and You Xiu was in the same area, at 1.9 miles from the breakwater, getting ready to sail.

Because of the strong winds and heavy waves, You Xiu's anchor started to drag and the ship drifted towards the breakwater. The Harbour Master notified You Xiu about this situation at 18:10, and advised them to move more far away. You Xiu replied back that they cannot start the main engine. The drift continued, and at 18:54 You Xiu reached a position only 185 meters from the breakwater, and requested help from tug boats. Few minutes later, from the ship's command, the request for help was cancelled. At 19:20, the Harbour's radar was displaying the ship at the breakwater. Soon, a message was received from You Xiu that there's a flooding hole in the ship's hull and the rescue tug boats are required immediately.

The first S.O.S. was received from You Xiu at 19:55, but it was already too late. The ship was taking water and heeling. At 21:15 the ship was already sinking.

The tug boat 'Viteazul' reached the sinking position, but on the other side of the breakwater, shining its floodlights towards the ship, while also launching flares to increase visibility, in an attempt to spot eventual survivors. Unfortunately the blizzard was too dense to see anything. At 22:50 Viteazul transmitted that only the ship's castle can be still seen above the water. The ship went down completely by 0:00.

Crew

  1. Shi Hai Bin, Master, born 10.06.1951, China
  2. Li Wan Tian, Ch. Officer, born 27.06.1954, China
  3. Zhao Shu Hai, 2nd officer, born 30.03.1955, China
  4. Zhou You Wen, 3rd officer, born 03.12.1966, China
  5. Jia Hong Yuan, Radio officer, born 01.11.1952, China
  6. Chan Mun Kau, Chief engineer, born 10.10.1940, China
  7. Shen Guo Chang, 2nd engineer, born 10.11.1951, China
  8. Tian Chun Lai, 3rd engineer, born 06.03.1965, China
  9. Liu Qian, 4th engineer, born 08.10.1966, China
  10. Xie Xiao Qiang, 5th engineer, born 29.10.1970, China
  11. Zheng Jian Ping, Electr. officer, born 07.03.1960, China
  12. Zhao Bao Sen, Chief pettz officer, born 15.02.1947, China
  13. Wang Lian Jun, Carpenter, born 01.10.1948, China
  14. Li Chuan Tao, Seaman Gr. 1, born 25.10.1964, China
  15. Chen Wang Ping, Seaman Gr. 1, born 16.04.1969, China
  16. Guo Zhong Wei, Seaman Gr. 1, born 21.12.1963, China
  17. Zhang Li Yun, Seaman Gr. 1, born 26.04.1964, China
  18. Han Chun, Seaman Gr. 1, born 15.09.1968, China
  19. Pan En Sheng, Seaman Gr. 1, born 19.06.1956, China
  20. Wang Fang Yuan, Motorman Gr. 1, born 15.05.1952, China
  21. Liu Jun Sheng, Motorman Gr. 1, born 12.09.1969, China
  22. Zhou Bin, Motorman Gr. 1, born 04.06.1971, China
  23. Wang Zhong, Motorman Gr. 1, born 13.09.1970, China
  24. Yan Xue Pu, Crew Cook, born 01.05.1974, China
  25. Pu Wen Sheng, Chief Steward, born 04.03.1948, China
  26. Li Quang Cheng, Chief Cook, born 01.12.1955, China
  27. Yang Lin Fu, Steward, born 05.07.1966, China

The ship is lying on a sand bed, at a depth of 21 meters, heeling 45 degrees towards port side, in close vicinity (probably less than 20 meters) to the breakwater. The port side wing of the command castle touches the bottom, while the starboard side wing is sitting at only 3 meters under the surface.

Usually a mooring line for diving boats is attached to the starboard side wing, making it a very comfortable place for the safety stop.

The wreck is in a pretty good condition (probably helped by the fact the vessel was brand new at the moment of sinking). It offers many great penetration possibilities, like the bridge (which is the easiest one), the CO2 bottles room (where you can see huge tanks of CO2), the galley (at the stern), the backup generator room (near the chimney). The modern navigation instruments on the bridge look very nice if cleaned of mussels.

For recreational divers, going around the command castle is probably the most interesting route. You will enjoy huge machinery, passage ways and stairs, and if you have a torch you can peek inside through the windows, as in most of the rooms you can still see the furniture. The chimney (at the stern) and the cranes between the cargo holds are an impressive sight. In the front of the command castle, it may be interesting to swim in the tight space between the castle and the raised cover of the first cargo hold.

What is very interesting is that by coincidence, You Xiu sunk immediately near Sadu (a ship, who went down a few years before, in 1988, in another winter storm). So, if you go by the stern, you will be at just 1 meter away from the bow of Sadu, as you can see in this sonar image of Sadu, taken by Harry Bakker, which also shows on the right the command castle of You Xiu.