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Kaohsiung City: Coastal patrol chases hit-and-run vessel to Penghu

Kaohsiung City: Coastal patrol chases hit-and-run vessel to Penghu

A Cyprus-registered freighter suspected of hitting a local fishing boat was intercepted in waters off the Penghu Islands yesterday by a marine squad mobilized by the Coastal Patrol Directorate General.

The squad, composing a frigate and three petrol boats, chased the 38,850-ton freighter "Star of Nippon, " for 102 nautical miles in waters off southwest Taiwan, officers at the agency said. They caught it near the Penghu Islands, an archipelago in the Taiwan Strait to the west of Taiwan proper.

Using video footage taken by the squad, inspectors of the agency identified fresh marks on the freighter, which could have been caused by collision with another boat. This evidence was enough to persuade the freighter's captain to admit the charge of hit-and-run, the officers said.

The freighter's owner has agreed to compensate the victim for all damages, the agency said.

According to the coastal patrol agency, Chen Lai-fa, the skipper of the 3.07-ton Siaoliouciou-registered fishing boat "Hsing Lai Fa, " reported the accident earlier yesterday after being rescued by another fishing boat from the water 12.2 nautical miles southwest of Siaoliouciou, an islet off Pingtung County, southern Taiwan.

Suffering from cuts and scratches on his arms and forehead, Chen said he fell into the water when his boat flipped over after being hit by the cargo ship. (