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Taiwan fishing boat on fire, rescued
By Liang Qiwen (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-04-05 06:20

GUANGZHOU: A coastguard helicopter and two rescue ships from the Chinese mainland yesterday went to the aid of a Taiwan fishing boat which caught fire off China's south coast.

All the seven crew members of the fishing boat which caught fire yesterday morning in Beibu Gulf, located in South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, were rescued yesterday afternoon.

The South China Sea Rescue Bureau of the Chinese Ministry of Communications dispatched the helicopter and ships to the accident site, west of Weizhou Isle in the Beibu Gulf and 60 nautical miles (110 kilometres) from Beihai, a mainland city on the Beibu Gulf.

There were no fatalities reported.

According to an official surnamed Zhou from the Guangzhou-based bureau, the ship involved, named "No 12 Decheng," had seven crew aboard, four from the Chinese mainland and the three from Taiwan.

"The captain who is from Taiwan is injured, as well as several other crew members," said Zhou. "But all of them are safe." Zhou said they received the report of the accident at about 9:05 am yesterday.

As the boat is from Taiwan, SOS (Save Our Ship) was first signaled to Taiwan, and then, through Hong Kong Marine Department, to rescue centres in Guangxi and Guangzhou. This delayed the crew's rescue by several minutes, said Zhou.

The helicopter flew from Zhanjiang, a city in the west of Guangdong Province. The two rescue ships are from Haikou, capital of Hainan Province and Beihai, in Guangxi, respectively.

(China Daily 04/05/2005 page2)

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