The navy announced yesterday that a Kang Ding-class frigate and S70-C Blue Hawk helicopters have been dispatched to accompany Coast Guard Administration (CGA) vessels patrolling waters between Taiwan and the Philippines to protect Taiwanese fishing vessels.
The navy said the frigates and helicopters had joined three coast guard ships on a four-day patrol mission, with a Knox-class frigate also nearby.
The navy fully backs coast guard action to protect fishing boats, it added.
The coast guard said it had dispatched two vessels — one equipped with a 20mm cannon and the other with a 40mm cannon — to patrol the waters and another coast guard ship has left Kaohsiung Harbor to join the navy-led patrol mission.
Jang De-hau (張德皓), director of the Coast Guard Administration’s Southern Coastal Patrol Office, said that if coast guard ships spotted the Philippine vessel that opened fire on a Taiwanese fishing boat on Thursday, killing a member of its crew, it would be seized.
Those on board would be arrested in accordance with international maritime law and would be brought to Taiwan to face a criminal investigation, Jang added.