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2 dead, 43 rescued after research ship sinks off Penghu

2014/10/11 00:57:04

Taipei, Oct. 11 (CNA) Two of the 45 people on board a research vessel that sank off the coast of Taiwan's outlying islands of Penghu were dead late Friday, while 43 others were rescued, according to the Coast Guard Administration (CGA).

One was pronounced dead upon arrival at hospital, and the other died after doctors tried everything to keep him alive but to no avail. The two, one male and one female, are researchers.

[CNA photo Oct. 10, 2014]

The CGA said the RV Ocean Researcher 5 may have run into a reef when it was sailing off Lungmen, Penghu Friday afternoon.

The 45 people on board were stranded after the ship tilted toward one side and began to take in water.

It sank at 8:11 p.m, and many of the people on board scrambled onto rubber rafts to row to safety, the agency said.

[CNA photo Oct. 10, 2014]

Those aboard included researchers from Academia Sinica, the Taiwan Typhoon and Flood Research Institute under the National Applied Research Laboratories, and graduate students from National Taiwan Ocean University, National Yang Ming University, Yunlin University of Science and Technology and National Chengkung University.

The ship departed from Tainan's Anping Harbor on Thursday and was scheduled to return on Oct. 16. Four GGA vessels.

Four Navy frigates, four Air Force helicopters and a transport plane rushed to the scene of the accident not long after the ill-fated research ship started sinking.

[Photo courtesy of the CGA]

The NT$1.46 billion (US$47.98 million), 2,700-ton RV OR5 built by Taiwan has a maximum speed of 12 knots and belongs to the Ministry of Science and Technology's National Applied Research Laboratories.

The eight-day mission was aimed at learning about the pollutants in the atmosphere and how they move through the air.

(By Chen Chi-fong, Lilian Wu & Bear Lee)

●Oct. 11: Research shipwreck victims identified
●Oct. 11: 2 dead, 24 injured in research shipwreck; investigation underway
●Oct. 11: Minister defends policy to outsource crew of research vessel
●Oct. 11: Captain of sunken research ship released on bail

●Oct. 11: Taiwan's research capability suffers major setback after shipwreck