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Taiwanese fishing vessel sinks in Indian Ocean

Ship sank about 593 km from Durban, South Africa, crew rescued by nearby vessel

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The Der Hai No. 66 sank in the Indian Ocean close to the South African coast on Wednesday morning, Sept. 13. 

The Der Hai No. 66 sank in the Indian Ocean close to the South African coast on Wednesday morning, Sept. 13.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Taiwanese fishing vessel reportedly sank into the Indian Ocean approximately 593 km from Durban, South Africa, on Tuesday (Sept. 12).

The Taiwan-flagged vessel, Der Hai No. 66, sent out a distress call early Tuesday around 9 a.m. A ship in the same area reportedly rescued the 16 crew members, who were forced to abandon ship for life rafts, reported LTN.

The longline tuna fishing vessel, weighing almost 100 tons, was reportedly operating in dangerous conditions with high winds and large waves, and took on an excessive amount of water. The captain notified a sister ship in the same fleet, the Der Hai No. 6, however, it was over 185 km away at the time.

The crew members were able to board lifeboats as the Der Hai No. 66 was sinking. Fortunately, the Der Hai fleet was able to contact the Taiwan Deepsea Tuna Longline Boatowners and Exporters Association, which helped to coordinate a rescue effort with another nearby Taiwanese ship, the Jian Lih No. 212.

The Jian Lih No. 212 was only 102 km from the sinking vessel. The Der Hai No. 66’s crew was safely rescued by the Jain Lih’s crew at approximately 7 a.m. on Wednesday (Sept. 13).