Sat, Jan 15, 2011 - Page 1 News List

Coast guard, PRC fishermen clash

SEA FEAR:Two coast guard officials sustained head and chest injuries when three Chinese fishermen attacked them with bamboo poles and stones as they apprehended their vessel

Staff Writer, with CNA

A Coast Guard Administration staff member in Kinmen County shows one of the stones Chinese fishermen hurled at coast guard officers yesterday.

PHOTO: WU CHENG-TING, TAIPEI TIMES

Two Taiwanese coast guard officers and three Chinese fishermen from Xiamen were injured in a clash yesterday morning when a coast guard patrol tried to stop a Chinese fishing boat from poaching in Taiwan’s territorial waters off the outlying islet of Little Kinmen (小金門).

The incident quickly escalated into a standoff between three Taiwanese coast guard patrol vessels and 28 Chinese fishing boats.

It started when a fishing boat from China was spotted at about 1:30am yesterday, fishing illegally in Taiwan’s territorial waters off Little Kinmen — an islet west of the main island of Kinmen, close to China’s southeastern coast.

A cutter from the Coast Guard Administration’s Kinmen unit intercepted the fishing boat and two coast guard officers went aboard in an attempt to inspect it, but they were attacked by the Xiamen fishermen with stones and bamboo poles.

The two officers sustained injuries to the head and ribs and three Chinese fishermen were also hurt.

The Kinmen patrol cutter called for backup and two other coast guard boats rushed to the scene. The Chinese fishermen were arrested and the wounded were taken to hospital for treatment.

One of the three injured fishermen was rushed to the hospital on the main island of Kinmen for treatment, while three others were taken to the coast guard’s Kinmen Office for questioning.

However, during the clash, the Xiamen fishing boat also radioed for assistance and drew a response from 28 other Chinese fishing boats with more than 80 people aboard.

The fishing vessels converged on Little Kinmen’s Luocuo Fishing Port (羅厝漁港), where they staged a stand-off with the coastguard patrol.

The Chinese men on the fishing vessels shouted at the coast guard, demanding the release of the Xiamen fishermen who had been arrested.

Su Sheng-chin (蘇勝欽), deputy chief of the Kinmen unit of the coast guard, went to the port and succeeded in calming the Chinese fishermen after many hours. The 28 boats left Luocuo Fishing Port at 7am.

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