1st LD Writethru: Australian authority coordinates search for capsized Chinese fishing vessel

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, May 18, 2023
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CANBERRA, May 17 (Xinhua) -- The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA)'s spokesperson said on Wednesday that they were coordinating the search for a Chinese fishing vessel in a remote location in the Indian Ocean.

The location is about 5,000 km northwest of Perth, the capital city of Western Australia (WA).

A Chinese deep-sea fishing vessel capsized on Tuesday in the central Indian Ocean, which has so far left 39 people on board missing, including 17 Chinese mariners, 17 Indonesian mariners and five Philippine mariners.

China's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, and the Ministry of Transport and Shandong Province have activated emergency response mechanism to organize the rescue work. On-site rescue is underway.

An AMSA spokesperson told Xinhua on Wednesday that a distress beacon signal was received by AMSA from the fishing vessel at about 5:30 a.m. (AEST) Tuesday morning.

The spokesperson said that late Tuesday, bulk carrier Navios Taurus sighted an upturned hull in the search area. No survivors have been found as yet.

AMSA requested the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to provide a search asset and the ADF tasked a P-8A Poseidon aircraft to assist with the long-range search on Tuesday night along with a number of merchant and other vessels in the area.

"Weather conditions yesterday were extreme with 120 km winds and 7-meter seas. Conditions have abated today with 40-50 km/h winds and 2-3 meter seas," an AMSA spokesperson said on Wednesday.

"The search for survivors continues today with merchant and fishing vessels in the area."

"The Australian Defence Force aircraft will return to the search area today after refueling overnight, along with AMSA's Perth-based Challenger rescue aircraft and a privately operated aircraft from Perth."

The spokesperson said that the AMSA Challenger aircraft will drop a buoy to assist with drift modeling to help in the search.

The Chinese Embassy in Australia told Xinhua on Wednesday that the embassy had immediately activated the consular protection and emergency response mechanism, and communicated and coordinated with Australian departments to carry out search and rescue work.

So far, the Australian authorities have tasked three aircraft in full search and rescue. At the same time, four ships are searching in the sea area where the incident occurred, said the embassy, adding that it will continue to seek help from relevant Australian authorities to carry out rescue operations. Enditem

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