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Taiwanese captain, five-man Indonesian crew missing at sea

2019/08/07 23:09:47

Photo courtesy of Yilan's Toucheng fishery association

Taipei, Aug. 7 (CNA) A Taiwanese captain and five-man Indonesian crew are feared lost at sea following the discovery of a capsized vessel in waters near Diaoyutai Islands by Taiwan's coast guard Wednesday.

The Yilan-registered Chuan Yi Tsai No. 1 (全億財一號) left Wushi Harbor in Yilan, northeastern Taiwan on Aug. 2, heading for waters off the east coast of Taiwan, its owner said.

The vessel was originally scheduled to return on Aug. 4, but had been out of contact since 1 p.m. Tuesday, the owner said, without explaining the discrepancy in the dates.

The ship's last known location was 19 nautical miles east of Suao Township, Yilan.

The vessel had six men on board, the 66-year-old captain surnamed Lai (賴) and five Indonesian crewmen, according to the owner.

Taiwan's Coast Guard Administration (CGA) and their Japanese counterparts dispatched ships and helicopters to search for the missing ship.

After receiving information from the Japanese coast guard, a CGA patrol vessel found a capsized fishing vessel broken in two and floating in waters near the Diaoyutai Islands at about 7 a.m. Wednesday.

Although the patrol vessel was unable to confirm if the capsized ship was Chuan Yi Tsai No. 1, due to poor visibility, a life jacket, on which was printed the former name of the vessel in traditional Chinese characters, was recovered at the scene.

The CGA vessel had to leave the scene due to the strong winds and rough sea, with Typhoon Lekima approaching. The search and rescue mission will resume as soon as the weather permits, CGA said.

(By Wang Chao-yu and Joseph Yeh)
Enditem/AW