Taiwan coast guard rescues sick man from fishing boat in South Pacific

12/05/2020 06:52 PM
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Photo courtesy of the CGA
Photo courtesy of the CGA's Fleet Branch

Kaohsiung, Dec. 5 (CNA) A Taiwan Coast Guard Administration (CGA) patrol vessel came to the rescue of a sick Indonesian crew member on board a Taiwanese fishing vessel in the South Pacific and brought him back to Taiwan to receive medical treatment Saturday, the CGA said.

The man was assessed by a healthcare professional in Taiwan by videophone as being in urgent need of medical treatment after he collapsed on Nov. 27, according to the CGA.

At that time, the vessel, named "Jin Cheng Li No.1," was located 308 nautical miles off Palau's Malakal port, or 1,482 nautical miles from Eluanbi, the southern tip of Taiwan.

The Indonesian man had earlier passed out and woke up with a headache, vomited and was unable to eat, the CGA added.

Following the diagnosis, CGA patrol boat Shun-Hu No. 7, which was on a mission in the Western Central Pacific, was dispatched and met up with the fishing vessel 1,118 nautical miles off Eluanbi around 11:52 a.m. on Nov. 29, where the sick Indonesian crew member and a fellow migrant worker who accompanied him were transferred to the CGA vessel.

Around 7:20 a.m. Saturday, the two were picked up by a Hengchun Coast Guard vessel 2.5 nautical miles off South Bay, a beach area near Hengchun town in Pingtung County and taken to hospital after arriving in Houbihu Port, the administration said.

The rescue mission took 8 days and involved CGA officials covering thousands of nautical miles.

According to the CGA, the fishing boat set off from Pingtung County's Donggang fishing harbor on Nov. 17 and its crew composed of two Taiwanese and nine Indonesians.

As a preventative measure to curb the spread of COVID-19, the two had their body temperature taken before boarding the Hengchun Coast Guard vessel, the CGA said.

The men were placed in an isolation room after boarding, while all CGA crew also had their temperature taken and were required to use personal protective equipment, including surgical masks and gowns, the CGA added.

(By Hou Wen-ting and Chung Yu-chen)

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