The Central Weather Bureau denied any of their forecasts were inaccurate yesterday, after families of the dead and missing fishermen accused the bureau of giving out misleading information concerning wind strength on Wednesday.
According to the family of Wei Kuo-chih, 70, the captain of the fishing boat that capsized near the Keelung coast on Wednesday afternoon, Wei listened to the CWB weather report and was informed that the wind strength had been classified as category four, an optimal condition for fishing at sea.
Wei's cousin said,“He had been a fishermen for over 20 years. He knew how important it is to listen to the weather report.”He continued to say that his cousin would never set sail and risk his life unless the weather was suitable for sailing.
However, the director of the forecast center Daniel Wu said that according to recorded data for the Wednesday fishing forecast, his center had actually issued a strong wind warning and estimated the winds at sea would be between category seven and eight.
The coast guard said Wei and his three men crew, namely Chou Tze-feng, 31, Lin Shih-chieh, 31, and Lin Jia-ho, 50 set sail at around 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday for a fishing trip on a recreational boat weighing 5.2 tons. The boat capsized en route back to the Patouzi fishing port on Wednesday afternoon just afternoon 4:30 p.m.
Despite the denial from the CWB, local fishermen still blasted the weather service for frequently issuing inaccurate weather reports. One fisherman said that the CWB sometimes updates their forecasts in the late morning; however, by that time, many fishermen have already set sail and are unable to benefit from the new reports, he said.