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CGA to step up training for inspection of boats: official
Central News Agency
2014-03-17 12:25 PM
Taipei, March 17 (CNA) The Coast Guard Administration (CGA) will step up training to improve its onboard inspection techniques, CGA head Wang Ginn-wang said Monday, two days after a Chinese fishing boat attempted to flee with Taiwanese coast guard officers on board. "We will strengthen our personnel training," Wang told lawmakers at a hearing of the Legislature's Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee. Five coast guard officers boarded the Chinese vessel for inspection but failed to stop the boat because they did not know how to turn off the auto-pilot to take control of the vessel, Wang admitted. The fishing boat skipper allegedly put the 260-ton vessel on auto-pilot in an attempt to flee, according to the CGA. The crew of the Zhelingyu 69088 will face a fine of NT$500,000 (US$ 16,490) for unauthorized entry into waters 17 nautical miles northeast of Pengjia Islet, where the Taiwanese coast guard officers boarded the boat Saturday afternoon, Wang said. The CGA later sent five boats to chase the fishing vessel, and also contacted Chinese authorities for help, Wang said. The fishing boat was intercepted by CGA vessels Saturday evening some 40 nautical miles northeast of Pengjia Islet and arrived in Keelung, northern Taiwan, Sunday morning under escort, the CGA said. The nine fishermen are in custody and their boat has been detained. The CGA has sent the case to Keelung prosecutors for investigation into whether the skipper and eight Chinese crew members obstructed law enforcement operations by speeding away with Taiwanese officers on board, Wang said. In the legislative committee hearing, Wang came under fire by lawmakers, who expressed concern over the level of law enforcement expertise of CGA personnel. (By Elaine Hou)
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