Mon, Nov 12, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Four missing from Taiwanese fishing boat believed dead

By Yeh Yung-chien  /  STAFF REPORTER

An Indonesian navy ship yesterday intercepted a Taiwanese fishing boat and found four Taiwanese crew members missing, Pingtung County officials said last night, adding the four people were feared dead.

The remaining eight crew members, Indonesian nationals, have been taken into custody for questioning.

According to boat captain Hsu Pi-chang's (許碧章) wife Tsai A-hsiu (蔡阿秀), Hsu departed from Liuchiu (琉球), Pingtung County, in July with his son Hsu Ching-wen (許慶文), brother-in-law Chou Huang Ko-nung (周黃可農), and Chou Huang Ko-nung's son, Chou Huang Che-lin (周黃哲麟).

They planned to fish near Guam after hiring eight Indonesian boatmen at an overseas location, Tsai said.

Unable to contact her husband since Thursday, Tsai contacted the boat company on Friday. The company located the boat north of New Guinea on a southwestward course.

Tsai, worried for the men's safety, contacted the Fishery Agency, which asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to seek assistance from the Indonesian navy.

The Indonesian navy found the boat near a small island northeast of New Guinea. It reported the four Taiwanese crew members missing.

Pingtung County officials said the county government would render all possible legal assistance to the families of the missing crew members.

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