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Girl rescued 21 hours after going missing at sea (update)

Girl rescued 21 hours after going missing at sea  (update)

Taipei, June 9 (CNA) A 17-year-old female student was rescued late Tuesday afternoon by a passing fishing ship in waters three km from where she fell off a banana boat, 21 hours after she was reported missing. Chang Hui-er (???), appeared weak but was conscious and able to talk clearly when she was brought ashore at Fishermen's Wharf in Tamsui and rushed to Mackay Memorial Hospital. Chang, who studies at Taipei College of Maritime Technology and moonlights at a cafe in Sanzhi on Taiwan's northern coast, boarded an inflatable banana boat with her male colleagues Monday evening after getting off work. The boat capsized in heavy seas, but while the men managed to swim ashore on their own, Chang was nowhere to be seen. Firefighters, the Coast Guard and the National Airborne Service Corps conducted a massive search operation throughout the night, hopeful that the life jacket Chang was wearing would keep her afloat. But hope grew dimmer as each hour passed by, and Chang's family members said they had "prepared for the worst." The miracle came late Tuesday afternoon when a fishing ship spotted Chang at sea off the Sanzhi coast. Her family members cried in joy when they learned she had been rescued, saying that "the heavy burden had finally been removed." The New Taipei emergency center said it mobilized more than 100 firefighters and civilian rescuers and 10 speed boats and launched four flights and five water motorcycles for the rescue mission between 8:37 p.m. Monday and 4:16 p.m. Tuesday. (By Hsieh Ya-chu, Wang Hung-kuo and Chiu Chin-ching)

Updated : 2021-09-17 13:02 GMT+08:00