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5 Filipinos missing after Taiwanese fishing boat catches fire at sea

2019/02/18 14:30:21

Photo courtesy of Kaohsiung City's Marine Bureau

Taipei, Feb. 18 (CNA) Five Filipino crew members on a Taiwan-registered fishing boat have been reported missing after the vessel caught fire Feb. 11 off the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic, Kaohsiung City's Marine Bureau said Monday.

Sixty-four of the 69 people on board the squid fishing boat were rescued and taken to safety in Port Montevideo, Uruguay, but the other five, all confirmed to be Filipinos, have not been found, the bureau said.

Rescue personnel from the Falkland Islands will continue to search for the missing crew members, the bureau said.

The Jung Ron fishing company, which owns the Kaohsiung-registered fishing boat, will endeavor to help the 64 rescued people return to their respective home countries, the bureau said, adding that it will provide any assistance necessary.

The crew on the 998-ton fishing boat comprised four Taiwanese, 22 Filipinos, 28 Indonesians, one Chinese, nine Vietnamese and five Myanmarese, according to the bureau.

In a statement issued last Friday, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said it remained hopeful that the five missing crew members would be found.

According to a Feb. 15 report in the Maritime Bulletin, officials of the Philippine Embassy in the United Kingdom were coordinating with U.K. authorities regarding the incident.

The Falkland Islands authorities have confirmed that the Taiwan-registered boat caught fire Feb. 11 approximately 60 nautical miles north of the capital Stanley, the South Atlantic News Agency Merco Press reported last Tuesday.

According to the Taiwan Tuna Purse Seiners Association, as of Monday, the cause of the fire was still unknown.

(By Wang Shwu-fen and Evelyn Kao)
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