A Taiwanese ship carrying 49 crew, including Filipinos and Indonesians, has vanished in the remote South Atlantic Ocean without any sign of a mayday call but shortly after its skipper reported it was taking on water.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said that it has been helping with efforts to search for the ship.
The Hsiang Fu Chun, a 700-tonne squid fishing vessel, lost contact with its owners “soon” after reporting that water was leaking on to the deck at around 3:00 am on February 26, officials said.
The boat sailed off from Kaohsiung in January to the sea area 1,700 sea miles east of the Falkland Islands for fishing and was due to return in May.
The vessel, built 28 years ago, was sailing about 1,700 nautical miles (3,148 kilometers) off the Falkland Islands when it vanished, according to recorded satellite data.
Upon receiving a report from Taiwan’s Fisheries Agency and the National Rescue Command Center Feb. 26, the ministry said it immediately asked its representative office in Argentina to seek help from the Argentina Navy to look for the boat.
The ministry said Taiwan’s representative office in the United Kingdom has also contacted the British authorities and the European Union Naval Force for help.
“We still don’t know where the ship is and what happened to it,” Huang Hong-yen, spokesman for the Fisheries Agency. (Ast)