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Chinese crew beat tsunami in Indian port
By Liang Qiwen (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-01-05 01:14

All 30 crew on a Chinese ship in an Indian port escaped with their lives despite being battered by the tsunami.

The ship, Taohuashan, was to take iron ore back to Nanjing, the capital of East China's Jiangsu Province, after it was loaded up at Chennai Harbour in southern India.

It had sailed safely from Guangzhou to arrive at the harbour on Christmas Day.

But the loading was barely finished when a ten-metre tidal wave smacked into the dock and the ship.

The gangway ladder was smashed to pieces.

"I suddenly saw many coral reefs appearing and the tide seemed to be getting stronger," said ship captain Chen Yan.

"Just a few seconds later, a massive wave slammed into us."

An Indian agent was climbing the ladder at the time, but was pulled to safety by the Chinese crew.

Although the Taohuashan, shook, she was one of only a few that did not capsize in the swell.

"I called the control centre of Chennai Harbour for help, but I think it had already been destroyed."

The ship withstood the waves for seven hours.

There were no human casualties, just equipment broken.

An officer at the Guangzhou Ocean Shipping Group said the 30 seamen would be given a cash reward of 30,000 yuan (US$3,600) each when they returned.

The ship is already on its way home, due to dock in Nanning on January 11.

"Obviously I hope this kind of disaster never happens again, but I also hope people learn more about how to save themselves when things like this do happen."

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