Mon, Oct 09, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Cargo ship disappears off Taoyuan coast

SEARCH AND RESCUE:Maritime authorities launched a massive operation to find the missing vessel after the captain radioed about power problems on Friday evening

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Search and rescue efforts continued in waters northwest of Taiwan last night after a cargo ship with a six-member crew disappeared while trying to return to the Port of Taipei in stormy weather and rough seas.

Maritime and Port Bureau officials said the crew of the 165-tonne Sin Fa No. 2 (新發貳號) comprised the ship’s captain, a man surnamed Tsai (蔡), four other Taiwanese and one Indonesian, whose name was listed as Yana Mulyana.

Maritime authorities launched a massive search and rescue operation after the captain reported by radio on Friday evening that the ship began experiencing problems with its power supply system amid strong winds and high waves soon after heading out.

According to officials, the Sin Fa No. 2 had departed on Friday afternoon from the Port of Taipei, on the coast of New Taipei City’s Bali District (八里), transporting fish to a harbor on Matsu. Its next destination was listed as Pingtan in China’s Fujian Province.

After all radio and satellite communications with the ship failed later on Friday evening, officials determined that the captain’s last radio contact had been from a location just 14 nautical miles (26km) from the Port of Taipei in waters off New Taipei City and Taoyuan.

The coast guard dispatched several patrol boats, including two large vessels — the 2,000-tonne CG-127 Xinbei and the 600-tonne CG-118 Keelung — to search for the missing ship over the past two days.

Eight sorties were carried out by helicopters from the National Rescue Command Center for daytime aerial reconnaissance, but no trace of the ship had been found as of press time last night.

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