Argentina to send vessel to search for missing Taiwanese boat - Focus Taiwan

Argentina to send vessel to search for missing Taiwanese boat

Taipei, March 12 (CNA) Argentina has agreed to send a military vessel to help search for a Taiwanese fishing boat that has been missing since Feb. 26 with a crew of 49, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Thursday.

"Argentina is set to dispatch a military vessel to join the search for the Taiwanese boat," said ministry spokeswoman Anna Kao (高安). "The vessel will reach the area where the boat was reported missing in four days at the earliest," she said.

The boat lost contact in waters off southeastern Argentina. It was carrying two Taiwanese, 11 Chinese, 13 Filipino, 21 Indonesian and two Vietnamese crew members, the ministry said.

The boat was located 1,500 nautical miles from Argentina and 1,700 nautical miles from the British-controlled Falkland Islands when it last made contact, according to Taiwan's Fisheries Agency, adding that it might have lost power.

Upon receiving a report from the Fisheries Agency and the National Rescue Command Center Feb. 26, the Foreign Ministry said it immediately asked its representative office in Argentina to seek help from the Argentine Navy to look for the boat.

The ministry said Taiwan's representative office in the United Kingdom has also contacted the British authorities and the European Union Naval Force for help.

At the same time, a Taiwanese fishing boat and other local fishing boats operating nearby are helping in the search.

The U.K. maintains sovereignty over the Falkland Islands and South Georgia in the South Atlantic close to Argentina.

(By Elaine Hou)ENDITEM/J

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