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Diver disappears during dismantling of Chinese ‘ghost ship’ in Taiwan

No sign of 47-year-old Keelung man in choppy waters

The search for a missing diver in Daxi, Yilan County.

The search for a missing diver in Daxi, Yilan County. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A 47-year-old man was reported missing Wednesday (Dec. 25) afternoon after he had gone diving to inspect the dismantling of a Chinese “ghost ship” off the coast of Yilan County.

The empty freighter turned up near northeast Taiwan last September and was towed to the rocks near Daxi railway station in the township of Toucheng for dismantling.

A diver from Keelung surnamed Lu (呂) went diving at around noon on Wednesday, CNA reported. When a colleague noticed he had not returned by 2 p.m., he alerted emergency services, which sent vehicles and boats to start the search amid strong waves.

By 5 p.m., no sign of the missing man had been found, according to CNA. Later reports identified the man as the manager of a subcontractor working on the project, and cable station TVBS reported an oxygen bottle had been found near the site.

When the freighter was originally located, it carried no crew or freight, but it bore the name of the Chinese city of Wuhu in Anhui Province on its stern. Since nobody claimed ownership, the authorities decided to take the ship apart.