China / Politics

China sends patrol vessel to South China Sea

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-12-27 14:17

HAIKOU - China on Thursday sent an oceangoing patrol vessel equipped with a helipad to the South China Sea, the first of its kind to be put into service there.

The vessel, Haixun 21, will be under the administration of the Hainan Maritime Safety Administration.

It will monitor maritime traffic safety, investigate maritime accidents, detect pollution, carry out search and rescue work and fulfill international conventions, said Huang He, deputy head of the maritime bureau of the Ministry of Transport.

"In the past, Hainan provincial maritime law enforcement entities could only cover coastal waters and never reached the high seas. The newly enlisted Haixun 21 ends the history of no large oceangoing patrol vessels in South China Sea," said Ruan Ruiwen, head of the Hainan Maritime Safety Administration.

Haixun 21 was put into use in 2002. It is 93.2 meters long with a maximum sailing distance of 4,000 nautical miles (7,408 kilometers) without refueling. Its maximum sailing speed is 22 knots (40.74 kilometers per hour). The helipad, located at the stern, is about 21 meters long and 11 meters wide.

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