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Taiwan Coast Guard adds new ship to protect east coast

35-ton patrol boat to monitor foreign navy vessels, rescue ships in peril

The Coast Guard has assigned a new patrol boat to Taitung County. (CNA, CGA photo) 

The Coast Guard has assigned a new patrol boat to Taitung County. (CNA, CGA photo) 

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Coast Guard Administration (CGA) has launched a new frigate to monitor the movements of foreign navy vessels, illegal Chinese fishing crews, and ships in peril off Taitung County, reports said Wednesday (Sept. 8).

The 35-ton PP-3595 patrol boat arrived in the southeast on Tuesday (Sept. 7) and is likely to take part in several types of missions regularly occurring in the area, CNA reported.

Emergency operations include removing patients from Orchid Island and Green Island to help them move to hospitals on Taiwan’s main island, the CGA said. Other tasks are the defense of local fishing grounds against foreign, often Chinese, trawlers operating illegally in the area.

The new ship will also monitor the movements of foreign navy vessels in the area. On Sept. 4, a United States Navy ship sailed south 45 nautical miles (83 km) southeast of Orchid Island. The next day, three Chinese military vessels sailed north off the coast of Hualien County.

A South Korean navy ship was spotted heading north near Orchid Island, and a Chinese survey ship sailed 55 nautical miles east of Hualien County’s Qixingtan early Tuesday (Sept. 7) morning before heading further away from Taiwan.

The CGA’s new ship is equipped with water cannons that can hit targets up to 60 meters away, either to douse fires or to chase away intruders, CNA reported. The patrol boat reaches a maximum speed of 45 knots or 83 kph, and can travel a maximum of 600 nautical miles.