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Rescued crew returned to company

By Shi Xiaofeng and Liu Jing | China Daily | Updated: 2016-12-16 07:45

Twenty-one crew members of a Taiwan fishing boat, rescued by two fishing vessels from the Chinese mainland on the high seas off Peru, were returned to their company on Wednesday.

One person remains missing.

The Nianni 588 squid-jigging boat, owned by Taiwan's Longda Fishery Co, had 22 crew onboard when a fire started suddenly in the engine room on Friday.

The speed of the fire meant the crew could not send out distress signals, lower the life raft or put on life vests. They jumped into the sea, grabbing a few floats and waiting for longer than two hours until they were spotted by a passing ship, according to the rescued fishermen.

Shi Sihong, captain of the Mingxing, a ship belonging to a branch of CNFC Overseas Fisheries Co in Zhoushan, Zhejiang province, said it was about 10 pm on Friday when he spotted red smoke about 5.8 nautical miles in front of his ship.

He realized that the unusual smoke and light might be caused by a boat fire, and promptly steered his ship toward the Nianni 588.

After confirming it was an emergency, Shi contacted another nearby fishing boat from the Chinese mainland, the Liaoyu No 1, for help.

The Mingxing searched the area for several hours, but failed to find a missing Vietnamese fisherman.

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