The Jakarta Post
Five Indonesians working as crew members of a reportedly missing Taiwanese-flagged ship are feared to be lost at sea after the discovery of a capsized vessel in the waters near Taiwan.
The report of the missing sailors came to light after the Taiwanese authorities and their Japanese counterparts found a capsized vessel floating in waters near the Diaoyutai/Senkaku Islands on Wednesday last week.
The capsized ship was strongly suspected as the missing vessel, identified as Chuan Yi Tsai No. 1, which had been out of contact with the authorities since Aug. 4.
“The Indonesian crew members are still missing. Search and rescue efforts have been constrained by typhoon Lekima,” said Judha Nugraha, the Foreign Ministry’s acting director for the protection of Indonesian citizens and legal entities abroad, on Sunday.
The vessel reportedly had six men on board, including the captain who was also feared to be lost with the five Indonesians, Antara news agency reported.
Judha said his office had contacted the families of the missing crew and provided them with updates on recent developments of the case.
The Chuan Yi Tsai No. 1 departed from Wushi Port in Yilan, northeastern Taiwan, on Aug. 2 and sailed toward the waters off the east coast of Taiwan. The ship was scheduled to return on Aug. 4, but it later lost contact with ground control.
The ship’s last recorded position was 19 miles to the east of Suao Township, Yilan.
Taiwan’s Coast Guard Administration (CGA) and its Japanese counterpart previously deployed ships and helicopters in search of the missing vessel.
Due to bad visibility at sea, the authorities could not confirm whether the capsized ship was indeed the Chuan Yi Tsai No. 1, however, they recovered a life jacket on which the name of the ship was named in traditional Chinese characters.
The CGA patrol ship had to leave the location due to extreme weather with typhoon Lekima approaching. Search and rescue efforts would be continued as soon as the weather improved. (gis)